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5 Steps To Prepare An Effective 60 Second Pitch

Your 60 seconds to shine! How do you make sure your message gets across?

The idea of a 60 second, or elevator pitch is to promote your business and secure a meaningful conversation. Think, what would you say to your next best customer if you were in an elevator with them for only 60 seconds? How would you convince them to meet with you?

One of the key aspects for effective networking is the ability to clearly communicate what your business does, the benefits of working with you and what you’re looking for to help you build your business. Networking groups will generally offer an opportunity to deliver an introduction to the room, whether that’s a 30, 45 or most commonly 60 second pitch.

This is the one moment during the meeting when everyone stops talking and turns their attention to you, so you need to make the most of it.

As an example, when I owned a bookkeeping business, my 60 seconds went like this:
‘Our business is to support your business… (pause)… How? We support business owners with their day-to-day bookkeeping giving them back their valuable time, and we specialise in pubs and restaurants, supporting businesses such as the Red Lion in x town.’

Breaking that down, you can clearly note the points which told the room what they needed to know:

• What we did
• The benefit to the recipient business we may be referred to
• Specifically which types of business we were asking for introductions to.

That’s the main part of my 60 second pitch, now let’s look at the steps to put yours together.

TIP: You’re bound to be nervous about speaking to a room full of other business owners, so don’t try to include too much information or you may be tempted to rush through it. Give yourself plenty of time to speak clearly without rambling. Write it down and practise it allowed, and there is no shame in reading it on the day!

1. Connect with your audience

First impressions are created in those initial seconds. Can you establish common ground in the first sentence? You could say something humorous about being up early, or thank the person who invited you, or note the pleasant atmosphere in the meeting room.

2. Outline the pain, problem, fear, want, need or desire that your customers have

This demonstrates an understanding of your customers, and makes it clear what you help with.

3. Present the solution to the pain

These are the benefits to working with you, ‘giving back valuable time’.

4. Give an example of how you have helped someone

This could be a short testimonial, or facts and figures, or even a quick anecdote. ‘Now, the bar manager has more time to…’

5. Come up with a tag line you use every time

This is the last thing the room will hear from you, so make your sign-off catchy. For example, I recall one from a chauffeur, ‘my names is ***, and my business goes the extra mile, because it’s less congested.’ It shows added value, hints at avoiding traffic and reminds people of your name again… And if you become a regular at the meeting, you might even get the room to say it along with you!

So, I hope that has been useful to you. Now all that remains is to take some time to think of two or three different 60 second pitches you could use, read them allowed and time them, and most importantly, enjoy your meeting!

Mike Foster

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