When it comes to pitching yourself or your business, you don’t always have a lot of time. If it is a formal meeting, you may be granted 10 minutes at most, but what if you meet the leader in your industry by chance in the office elevator. While it can be risky, but if given the opportunity, you wouldn’t want the opportunity to pass you by and you would want to deliver an eloquent, well-versed pitch. But where do you begin crafting the “perfect” pitch?
It all begins with the prep. You don’t know when your big moment will present itself so you want to stay prepared at all times. Black Employment and Entrepreneurship Journal encourages putting together a list of talking points and rehearse them over and over again. Not only will this help you become familiar with your pitch, but it will add to your confidence when the time comes to give it.
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Okay, so you’ve been getting prepared and are feeling good. You’re waiting for the elevator to head home and the doors open. Standing inside is someone you have been admiring professionally from afar and want to share your skillset or idea with. You have to captivate their attention beyond a hello. If they ask you what you do, tell them something worth listening to. Business expert and entrepreneur, Tim David, shared his unique approach to opening up the conversation in Harvard Business Review.
“If you want to be interesting, you need to stand out. Giving them a verbal slap in the face helps break the patterned thought process that made them ask the question in the first place… You’ve got to say something DIFFERENT – something authentic. Something so totally ‘you’ that they are forced to realize that you are a unique human and not just another ‘normal’ interaction that their robot brain can coast them through,” Davidshared in Harvard Business Review.
In other words, don’t just give them an average conversation — you want your name and story to stick! Once they are intrigued, get to the point. American Express Business columnist and business training specialist, Bruna Martinuzzi, says "you don’t want to waste time solely on the introduction. Get to your proposal quickly and efficiently."
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“Give them an overview of your compelling proposition quickly, and succinctly, and you're more likely to capture and hold your listener's attention at the crucial start of your pitch,” Martinuzzi revealed to American Express Business.
By now, you should be pointing out a problem that you already have a solution to and painting the big picture for your audience (or audience member). While doing this, you want to show you're passionate about what you are saying but stay focused. For Medium, entrepreneur, Carlos Saba, wrote: "when we get passionate about something it is easy for us to jump around our thoughts and that will make you lose the interest of those you are speaking to." This is why it is imperative to prep!
Your time may be running out at this point so this would be a great time for questions. Choose to either prompt them to ask you any questions or maybe pose a question to them about how they currently handle what you are looking to improve. This can lead you to land a follow-up. Make them feel like the conversation can’t end there. Ask if you can schedule some time to talk to them more about your pitch and be sure to hand them a business card.
PHOTO: The Source
You got this, sis. You have the power to give the perfect pitch and unlock the door to your next great opportunity!
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