Some people have an uncanny ability to pitch themselves or their ideas so eloquently, it makes you feel like it’s an unattainable skill that they’re born with. While it may come more naturally to some, anyone can make significant improvements in this area by following a few simple principles.
We start this episode by talking about what you should avoid doing in an elevator pitch. This isn’t your time to tell your entire story, or to talk about everything that you or your product can do. The idea is to simplify things as much as possible by only focusing on the most important and impressive aspects of what you do while making it relatable to the specific audience you’re addressing.
We also discuss how to actually figure out what your target audience cares about and provide a simple framework for composing your elevator pitch. Throughout the episode we give specific stories of how we’ve helped entrepreneurs refine their elevator pitch which should help you apply it to your own story.
01:00 Open mics are a great way to get out there and practice public speaking. Learning how to be on stage and speak in public made us more effective at pitching.
02:00 A great way to hone your pitching skills and get live feedback from people is to do it during the conferences or networking events. You can adjust your pitch as you go.
02:50 It shouldn’t take you 20 minutes to explain what is it that you actually do. It does take practice and discipline to come up with a concise way to get to the value proposition quickly. This is crucial in helping engage those who might be interested in your project.
03:55 Exercise idea: take what you normally communicate in 20 minutes and condense it down to 30 seconds. Your job here is not to talk about EVERYTHING and cover all the bases.
04:55 Every person cares about different things; and most likely they aren’t going to care about everything you have to say. You have to get the core value of your project, spark interest, and then use the conversation time to go into more details.
05:25 Tailor your discussions based on what people in front of you care about. Some would get bored but don’t take it as an insult. Pay attention and next time change the narrative.
06:30 Lesson 1: If you think you’re going to be in a situation where you are going to be pitching someone, spend the day before thinking about the people you are going to interact with. Who are these people? What motivates them? What do they find interesting? Onсe you answer these questions, you will know what to focus on.
Learn and understand your audience even before you come up with a pitch. Your pitch should be always changing depending on who you are talking to.
07:12 Lesson 2: Having a standard super brief pitch/slogan for what you do is great. The rest of the elevator pitch should be related to what the other person cares about.
Example: Pitching to investors. They care about 1. Is it a big enough opportunity? 2. How do you de-risk it?
Example: Pitching to customers. They care about what problem you’re solving for them.
08:27 Case: Sergei’s story on pitching a product to students.
10:21 You don’t have to communicate all your values through the elevator pitch. It has only one job: to spark interest. This is why it should be super focused.
12:13 Lesson 3: Rehearse! Write it down, take notes.
14:32 Memorizing is one practice that might work. Another one is to simplify it as if you are just telling a story. What is the simplest way of describing your project? Vadim’s story.
17:51 People are just trying to get to the core of your ideas. Your only goal is to keep them interested.
18:30 Have your friends to role-play with you, listen to their feedback and adjust. Use it as a safe space to mess up and figure out your way of pitching. It will and should be uncomfortable.
19:45 Framework. First, think about how to condense the description of your project to 8 seconds, one sentence. What do you do? Second, think about what problem your project is solving. What is the opportunity here for the market that you’re addressing? Third, what is your solution (explained in more detail)?
21:19 Frameworks are helpful but it really is about trying and messing up; putting it out there and getting feedback; being self-aware. Notice what makes people excited.
22:05 Adjust your pitch as you grow. As things change, it is okay to break your pitch apart and find what works better for your current goals.
23:05 If you are having a hard time, reach out to us via email (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org ) or the contact form (https://thementors.co/contact/) on the website. We will be happy to help you with your pitch.