10 tips for a great 1-minute pitch

Your 1-minute pitch might be all that stands between you and the investor or client of your dreams. Can you explain your big idea in three sentences or less? Here are 10 tips to help you identify a high-impact 1-minute pitch.

Make it tangible

No big words, no big concepts, no terminology. In technical writing, we have a trick to help clients outline something complex – “Imagine you were explaining it to your mother”. It combines the right level of respect for someone’s intelligence, but without the assumption of industry knowledge.

Show your passion

If you don’t have enthusiasm why should your prospect? Once your listener realizes it’s a pitch, your enthusiasm will make your presumption slightly less irritating. At worst you want the conversation to end with – “sorry, but no thanks” and not “call the police”.

Keep it fresh

Refer to current events in your introduction. With the current economy people are looking for low risk, and everyone needs to increase their turnover. Tie your business concept to that. Tie it to the situation you’re in. Be flexible – perhaps a small benefit of your business is very appropriate to this situation rather than the benefit you feel is your biggest. Make sure your your 1-minute marketing pitch is up to date with trends.

Adapt to your audience

Your language, your approach, and what you choose to highlight for a particular audience has got to change to suit the age, gender, race, dress code, posture, and body language of your audience. Don’t rush to the end of your presentation blindly – watch if you are being annoying and apologize. If he expands on your PART I section himself, listen. Sometimes listening to HIS 1-minute marketing pitch will tell you all you need to know to structure your own message.

Know your competitive edge

Make sure you can answer the question “What do you think really sets your work apart for someone in my industry?”

Don’t gabble

Don’t cheat by by cramming 3 minutes of information into a 1-minute pitch. Speaking too quickly reduces the quality of your articulation and reduces the impact of your messages. Breathe now and then! Let your prospect get a word in.

Keep to two primary benefits

In decision making, the more reasons you give, the less value is given to each reason. Selected your two top benefits for THIS type of situation (if your prospect is dressed in a superbly cut designer outfit, talk about quality and on-time delivery rather than price.)

Don’t hard sell

Against all logic, don’t force your business card into his hand if he’s not interested. If you haven’t got THIS opportunity right for some reason, make a gracious exit.

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