Pitching is an art and the best ever discussion I have come across is this
An “Elevator Pitch” is a concise, carefully planned, and well-practiced description about your company that your mother should be able to understand in the time it would take to ride up an elevator. [source]
What makes a great pitch?
Reproducing from my earlier article (Pitch! The Missing Element), here are a couple of points that one needs to keep in mind while pitching your product.
- Your Product doesn’t really matter
It’s who you are and your insights that matters. Do not simply pitch your product, but instead pitch your business solution.
- Do not get into feature level.
Please be good to yourself by not telling why feature X can take your company to the next level.
- Do not get into technology depth
Avoid sharing too much of technology details. Instead focus on the customer/user benefits.
- Focus on the benefits
An ideal pitch is more about ‘Benefits’ and less about ‘Implementation’. Do not jump the gun by talking about implementation aspects of the product (like: we will integrate with operators) – these details will anyways be a part of the next level of discussion. Generate enough interest to ensure that next level of discussion happens.
Keep it short. I think majority of entrepreneurs want to tell-it-all during the pitch, so that nothing gets missed. Read the next point.
- Have one clear precise USP
How many things can you really sell in 2 minutes? Or lets say 5 minutes? On an average, an adult’s attention span is 8 seconds (link) – so ensure that you sell one and only one USP of your product/business.
- Practice/Write it down
I am a firm believer that writing helps in crystalizing one’s thought process. Write down your pitch and keep improving unless and until you have come up with one clear USP that sells.
- Tell a Story
Story-telling is an art (recommend you to watch this video embedded towards the end of this post) and you don’t get it until you practice really hard. Practice now.
Pitch – Examples
Here are some great examples (via) of real life startup pitches that one can truly call as the most ideal elevator pitch.
Mint.com’s Pre-Launch Deck
This slideshow gets into depth of competitive understanding, Product USP, Financial projections, exit and can be used as a template for your presentations.
Also Read: Building a Successful Business –The Mint.com Story (Interview with Aaron Patzer)
Define the problem statement and offer the solution!