A Few Things You Want to Think About While Pitching

Yesterday, we did a mini workshop on “Testing and Improving Your Pitch” at TiECon Chennai 2012. It was a popular session during networking and I am amazed at how many people stayed past 6pm to participate. Some things you want to think about when you are pitching.

1. Why

First you want to decide why you want to pitch. This influences whom you want to pitch to and what you want to pitch. Am I pitching to get hired? Get Funded? Have people spread the word about my product or company?

2. Who

Who is your audience? Is this some one you meet at a conference or a business networking event? Is this a potential customer? Is this some one you are trying to help you, with your startup? Is this someone, you are trying to hire? Are you trying to pitch to an investor ( Friend, Angel, VC)?

3. What

What do you want to convey during the pitch? If it is a short 30 second pitch, what would you want people to remember about you or your product or company?

4. How

How will you go about your pitch? How do you learn to pitch? There are lots of good advice. Just Google “pitch a product” or “pitch a company” or “Elevator Pitch”. You can come up with your own style, after you try a few pitches and see whether people get it.  There are pitch builders like this one on HBR that may help too.

What are the elements of  a good pitch? I can think of a few.

  1. It is short and easy to remember 
  2. It is easy to recall
  3. It is clear – few words (short words better than long words, short sentences are better than long ones)
  4. It starts a conversation (about your product or company)
  5. It  evokes curiosity (people ask questions after you complete it)

A pitch need not be just text. Some times a picture with a question or short sentence helps too.