At the start of most LRBC meetings, each member gets a chance to present their 60 second pitch. It’s a useful way for everybody to get to know each other’s businesses, so we can spot even more referral opportunities. But how do you squeeze everything you want to say about yourself into a mere 60 seconds?
It’s not about you
The CEO of Founder.Org, Michael Baum, presents a short video to help people present 60 second pitches to investors. Obviously, this has different requirements to a business networking meeting, but one key point remains the same: “Your 60 second pitch is not about you. It’s about your audience.”
This really is crucial. For example, his suggested end segment for a 60 second pitch to investors, is a brief analysis of the available market opportunities. This is not appropriate in all situations and you don’t include it just because it’s about your business. If something is not relevant to your current audience, then it shouldn’t be in your 60 second pitch.
Ask yourself, what do I want these people to know about my business?
At the LRBC, we recently had a brief discussion about this. We decided that it would be helpful if we told each other what type of new business we are looking for during the pitches.
You are not going to have one 60 second pitch that will be useful for every scenario. The whole ‘elevator pitch’ idea is based on having a short amount of time to sell your business to someone you happen to be in a lift with. This kind of lucky coincidence situation is also good to prepare for. But it will be slightly different to your 60 seconds in a meeting with people you get to know over time.
Don’t just talk quickly!
This is not the time to suddenly double the pace of your normal speaking voice. You are not trying to fit in as many words as possible in the time limit. It’s better to speak normally and really make each sentence worthwhile. Aim for clarity, the details can be filled in later.
The internet is full of different ways of structuring pitches, using a huge variety of terms and descriptions. Our summary breaks it down into four sections, imagining about 15 seconds each:
1.Grab attention: refer to a relevant news story, give an interesting industry fact or statistic, ‘did you know…?’ type question, humourous tale. Quirkiness is memorable, intrigue makes you want to know more, being unique makes you stand out (although is sometimes hard to define).
2. Problem: draw a mental picture of the current problem people are currently suffering with. For example: Spending time, wasting money, struggling because no expert knowledge, fixing mistakes of others.
3.Solution: how your product or service resolves these problems in a unique way. And how amazing things are for your client once you are involved. Simplify the confusing and complicated.
4.Why you: how you know you can fix the problem and what you want them to do now.
The final point can be more nuanced than it first appears. For example, at the LRBC pitch, you are speaking to people who are committed to advocating for your business. We are all getting business for each other. So, it’s not the same as speaking directly to potential clients. You need to consider what other members need to listen out for as the problems you can solve. So, if they come up in conversation, you have already told them that you could be the answer to that problem and your business card makes its way into their hands.
Can’t you just give me a script?
There are many templates for pitches available and they can be really useful if you haven’t done this before. Do bear in mind that your business is unique and that trust is built between individuals. It has to sound like you and you have to be comfortable saying it.
And that is the main thing, you actually have to say it, in front of other people. It’s definitely worthwhile writing it out and honing your language. But then see how it feels to say it in front of a mirror. It’s not a completely natural conversational situation, but it shouldn’t feel fake either. Repeat it out loud to yourself and to time.
So, I’m afraid we can’t just give you a script for you to copy and paste your own name into. But, at LRBC, we can give you a room full of friendly, non-judgmental faces who are there in a supportive capacity. You get to present your 60 seconds at most meetings, so there’s plenty of chances to practice and you can try out different versions.
Just make sure that you think about your audience first. Use the four points above to help you with the structure and remember that nerves are perfectly natural. We look forward to hearing all about you and your business soon.
To come along as a visitor to see if we’re a good fit, no strings attached, give us a call on 01664 454066. If you prefer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.