The first impression is the most important, so when you’ve only got a few minutes to pitch your business idea, you better make it really good. That’s exactly why Lee Monk from Maverick English was at Workether today, running an elevator pitch workshop called Lee’s Pitch Clinic, hosted by ValenciaStartups. Here are some of the highlights of the event and the valuable tips we learned:
Keep it human, keep it short.
Start with a “hi, how are you” to set the mood for a conversation and not a boxing match.
Your pitch should be simple enough for your grandma to understand!
If she didn’t get, then “Sit Down, Think Up” and start from the beginning to really think about your business and what you are offering.
What do you do?
- Really think about it and know it inside and out
- Zoom in, zoom out, think about it from all perspectives
- If your business idea isn’t a “WOW” idea, find the “WOW” that makes you better than the competition
Tailor it to your time frame
Imagine you get into the elevator and your listener presses the button for the 30th floor. Now imagine your listener presses the 5th floor. Those are you entirely different pitches and you have to be ready for both.
This is your lucky day! A whole 3 minutes to WOW your listener with everything you’ve learned. Explain how you’ve added value to people’s lives and/or solved a problem.
Focus on one aspect. It’s usually easier to explain how you’ve solved a problem with a powerful statement including a real life example your listener can’t argue.
Don’t sell your pitch, just get the attention of your listener so that they WANT to hear more about your company and they give you that 5-8 minutes to talk about it later.
Tailor it to your audience
- Know your audience and tweak your pitch depending on who you’re pitching to and what you want from your listener
- Do you want investors? Customers? To inform people about your business?
- Find out in advance who will be at what events and be prepared (use Meetup, LinkedIn etc. to know who is who)
- Practice your pitch with people (even family and friends) as much as you can, and master personalizing it to the audience
- Become comfortable with pitching and answering tricky questions
- Be proactive; go to as many events as possible and pitch to everyone (keeping in mind to tailor to time frame and audience)
- If English isn’t your first language, then practice speaking about your company in English as much as possible
- Even native speakers can benefit from Lee’s lesson on “Connectors” to use for a smooth, successful conversation and maintain control of the direction in which the discussion goes
- Consequential (consequently, which means)
- Contrary (although, even though, however)
- Additional (in addition, furthermore, for example)
Tips for Perfect Pitches
- How you present is just as important as what you present
- If you’re nervous, only you can tell, so continue as best as you can
- Stand tall, confident, don’t wobble or pace
If you don’t know what to do with your hands grab both elbows behind your back for a confidence stance
- Don’t glue your feet to one spot; get close to the audience and interact with them
- Stay calm, speak slowly
- Remember to keep it human; minimize the statistics and provide real life and real time examples that people can relate to
- Paint the picture
- Have powerful opening and closing lines
- Accept applause; it’s for you, so take it with pride.
The Pitches in Practice
There were 4 startups at the event who pitched their businesses to the audience, received feedback, edited their pitch, and presented again. The second round, with feedback incorporated were drastically more improved! These are the people who presented and improved their pitches and are one step closer to being successful entrepreneurs:
“Singularu is the place where people looking for a unique and special purpose label are qualified and able to create quality craftsmen. Whether a piece of furniture, a jewel, a plug, a piece of pottery or a decorative object, in Singularu connect their imagination with hands capable of making it happen.”
Pitched by Paco Tormo
Zizerones is a company that ensures quality, and unique tours of cities that sets them apart from traditional tours. These tours aren’t another generic history lesson, this is the seal of approval for tours you’ll actually enjoy and remember.
Pitched by Luis Noé
TenloAhora: Want it now? Have it
TenloAhora guarantees that from the time you purchase online, they will deliver your product to you within 90 minutes. Because life is too short to wait.
Pitched by Fran Conejos
Miottech: Bring the Metrics to Your Store
MiotTech bridges the online/offline gap of social media popularity. Their physical counter that displays Facebook likes and Twitter followers in realtime. A must have for any business that wants more online publicity.
Pitched by Javier Pajares Sánchez
If you have a business, these skills are vital for it’s success. Absorb these tips, or if you’re in Valencia, Spain then don’t miss another event like this again. Join the ValenciaStartups Meetup Group and follow Workether on Facebook for instant updates of upcoming events that’ll help your business succeed.
Big thank you and a standing ovation to Lee Monk, ValenciaStartups, and every single person who attended last night. We’re eagerly looking forward to the next event!
And on that note…
Do you have a pitch you’re working on? If so, was this helpful?
Also, let us know if you’d like to participate in an Elevator Pitch workshop like this so we can do it again!
International Community Lead
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