The elevator speech is the basis for the 90-second videos that Venture Madness judges and the voting public will use to advance startup companies through the brackets starting in February. The application videos are the most important part of the startups’ applications because not only will they be the voters’ first impressions, they will create the most lasting impressions.
Choose Your Best Speaker
Above all, choose the person in your company who is the best speaker – and this might not be one of the founders – to take the lead. Let viewers see your passion for your product or service. Don’t do what this guy did on “Shark Tank”; not only did he have a weird idea – for a surgically implanted Bluetooth device – his presentation was flat.
Sincerity and Passion Win
Although another “Shark Tank” contestant, Jonathan Miller, was chided for his sales-y pitch, he won support because of his passion for his product. He gave up only 30 percent of his company for $150,000 and 4 percent royalties. The lesson learned from Elements Energy Bars is if you believe in your business, let your passion for it show. Be sincere.
Don’t Talk Too Much
Do a search on Youtube for “elevator pitch winners,” and watch videos like this one, from Utah State University, which shows the perfect 2-minute product pitch.
What makes this pitch great? He solves a problem, his pitch is packed with research, he offers a clear value to his audience and he crisply presents his idea.
Think of your pitch as a fine reduction sauce that a chef simmers and stirs, letting the excess liquid vaporize so that a rich, flavorful sauce is created. Eliminate wordiness and, for goodness sake, stop talking once you’ve made your point.
How To Pitch A Small Business Startup
Today’s consumers – whether B2B or B2C – are looking to connect with businesses. Write the script for your 90-second video so it is conversational. Practice the pitch in front of colleagues and in front of the mirror – your biggest critic. Great presentations tell:
1. What it is – Define what your product or service is in 10 words or less: “My company helps people create custom protein bars.”
2. What problem it solves – Define the problems that your business solves. Keep the focus on your audience, NOT on you, your brilliance and your great product. Include market research you’ve conducted or data you’ve found from credible sources: “Consumers want good-tasting protein bars made from whole ingredients that they can customize to their own tastes and nutritional needs. American consumers spend $X billion on nutrition bars every year. We surveyed 2,000 Whole Foods customers, and 75 percent said they don’t like the taste of store-bought bars, but they buy them for their nutritional value. They told us they’d be willing to pay slightly more and wait for them to ship through the mail, if they could get wholesome ingredients and great-tasting bars.”
3. How it solves the problem – Explain how your product or service solves your audience’s problems: “Our website allows consumers to create bars from 6 types of protein and more than 30 ingredients, such as dried fruits, nuts, grains, infusions and non-sugar and non-artificial sweeteners.”
4. Status – Share where you are in your small business startup phase. How many units have you sold? How many clients have you signed? How did you get this far? “Our website went live six months ago, and through social media campaigns, we have completed more than 1,000 orders.”
5. Projections – Where are you headed? Think of this as a sales pitch to potential investors or customers. Why do you believe in your business?
TheCheapRevolution says great presentations tell stories. Compelling stories. Don’t talk about you and your company; talk about your customers. Help them see themselves in your product or service, and you’ll create a loyal following.