Giving a Great Elevator Pitch

While preparing for a business pitch competition at UB, I did some research on the principles behind successful pitches:

First of all, you must keep the primary objective of the pitch in mind:  communicate the value proposition.  You only have a couple minutes to convince the audience that your business may be worth investing in.  Discuss your target market (who you are helping), what product/service you’re selling (what you are doing), and your qualifications (who you are).  Two minutes is not long enough to go into any depth about your business model, so you must excite the audience and get them to want you to tell them more!

Script out the pitch as if you were writing the pitch for someone else to follow and revise, revise, revise!  Develop a clear, memorable, and repeatable story.  Write the pitch as you would speak it to ensure you remain authentic.  Practice in front of friends, family, and your mirror.  Speak with conviction! If you don’t believe in your idea your listeners won’t either!  Express what matters to you my engaging the audience through your magnetic energy and enthusiasm!

Make sure that you communicate how you not only have a good idea, but a great business opportunity.  Quantify your pitch as much possible with specific numbers to communicate your familiarity with your business area.  Discuss how you’re competitors aren’t properly addressing the market and how you believe you can do better than them.

If you’re afraid someone may steal your idea, discuss your business in such a way that you don’t mention any technological details, which shouldn’t be necessary for a two minute pitch anyway.  Remember, your objective here is to get your audience to set up a future meeting with you.  You can talk details there!

Happy Pitching!

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