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How to build an AMAZING 60-second pitch

Ariel Halevi |

Senior Consultant & Co-founder

| 8 minutes

 

Start-up competitions and Demo Days are excellent opportunities to speak to potential investors, strategic partners, and even end users about your next great initiative or venture. The only catch: you have to get up on stage and knock their socks off with a pitch that’s no longer than 60 seconds! The same goes for meetings with managers and executives, even if they’re prepared to give you a full 15-30 minutes of their precious time.

The good news is that building an amazing 60-second pitch is much easier than you may think. 

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Start off by grabbing your audience’s attention.

Before you sell your audience on your venture, you need to capture their attention. 

If you’re the first speaker of the evening, most of your audience members are likely still settling in.

If you’re somewhere in the middle of the presentation order, there’s a good chance your audience is still pondering the content of a previous presentation.

If you’re up last, your audience is likely just plain tired.

That’s why you need to kick off your 60-second pitch with a powerful, 10-15 second opening: a staggering statistic, an interesting quote by an industry leader, a burning question, or even a rhetorical, yet attention-grabbing question. You could even start off with a silly gimmick like a costume or a prop. 

Drive the message home as concisely as possible.

Think about a microwave. Now, imagine you are speaking with a person who’s never heard of one before. Can you capture its essence in less than 10-15 seconds? For example:

“A microwave is a small box that can heat your food in less than 60 seconds, without using fire.”

That’s 19 words in 8 seconds.

There is no real correlation between how innovative or complex your venture is and how much time you need to communicate its core essence. There is, however, a direct correlation between how well you understand your innovation and how concisely you can describe it. 

  • What field does your venture disrupt (i.e. food)?
  • What value does it bring to the world (i.e. heat your food faster)?
  • How does it bring that value to your target audience (i.e. using electricity to heat food really quickly without fire)?

It’s critical that you truly understand your venture, before you share it with the “world.”

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Leverage your track record to earn their trust.

You’re not just some starry-eyed dreamer with ambitious dreams; you are a real doer who can make things happen. Show this to your audience by spending 15-20 seconds telling them about your initiative’s roadmap and progress thus far.

While it may be easier for later-stage ventures to show proof of the money, partnerships, customers, and revenues acquired, early stage ventures can still talk about their teams and their past track records. Investors want to know that you have the knowledge, experience, and expertise needed to make tough decisions, network, and turn a profit.

End with a clear and enticing call to action.

Audiences are passive entities by nature. As such, your closing remarks must include a very clear call to action, tailored to your most immediate needs. If you’re looking to raise money, end with “We are currently raising capital and if there are investors in the audience, please come find me – we’d love to tell you more about our venture.” If you’re looking for partners or distributors, end with “We are currently building our distribution network and are looking for partners on the West Coast – if you’re interested or know of someone that is, please come speak with me.” If you are simply trying to build your user base or further your product validation stage, end with “We are currently still in our Beta stage. If anyone here would like to participate, please come find me.”

The idea is to give the most relevant members of your audience a clear direction of what you need from them, in the most actionable way.

Remember: a 60-second pitch is about getting face time with qualified prospects. Once you’ve gotten these meetings, you will be given ample time to defend the business viability of your venture.

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Ariel Halevi

A teacher, first and foremost, I am most passionate about the fields of Interpersonal Communication, Persuasion and Influence Without Authority. I decided to dedicate my life to the study of these fields, so that I may first live a happy and productive life, and then turn to help others do the same. I am a strong believer in doing what you love while doing good in the world, and I endeavor to incorporate these ideals into every interaction I have.

I am the proud co-founder of Vayomar – The Power of Being Heard, along with my friend and partner, Gur Braslavi. Together, we strive to bring our insights, methodologies, and tools to people around the world, from young students to adults. 

But we don’t forget to enjoy ourselves… I am a big believer in the “theory of fun” and love to find ways for developing myself through games. My goal is to promote a better humanity through better interpersonal communications. I invite you to join us and become part of this massive transformative effort.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

My recommendations:

    • The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity, by Norman Doidge  
    • Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, by Patty McCord  
  • Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, by Laszlo Bock