The ability to strike a conversation and get your audience interested in what you are saying does not happen by chance. The formula for creating this attention-grabbing pitch is something you need to understand and implement in your pitch.
The process of creating your elevator pitch takes into account vital points and factors around your startup. The result will either blow away the investors and have them asking for more detail or join the cringe-worthy lot that fails woefully at achieving their purpose. Note, your elevator pitch is not a sales pitch. Creating an effective elevator pitch should include some key elements necessary for getting you the audience you need from your investors that will surely help to introduce your business at network events, trade shows, and individual audiences.
Let’s dive into reimagining your elevator pitch, elements of elevator pitches, and common mistakes that people make with their elevator pitch and guide you to nail your next elevator pitch.
Re-imaging Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is not a sales pitch. An elevator pitch is a short 30-second to a one-minute memorable description of your startup’s solution. It describes what you do and what you have to offer to your audience. Interestingly, the goal of making an elevator pitch is to achieve one of two things. It is either to get the attention of your immediate audience or to earn a second conversation with your audience. The end goal in mind when giving your elevator pitch is to make your audience take action.
Your elevator pitch should never be about closing a deal or selling the product your startup is offering. Your pitch should help you get your audience curious enough to know more about your startup. Having your elevator pitch ready at all times will save you from blabbing at networking events, warm calls, and short-time opportunities when you run into your target investor.
The ingredients of Elevator Pitch
Creating an engaging, concise, and investor-friendly elevator pitch will have you ready to get the conversation going with anyone at all times. With good practice, you can turn this pitch into muscle memory and pitch at a comfortable pace. To create an audience compelling elevator pitch, you should include the following key elements in your pitch:
Introducing yourself and your startup to the person you are talking to is an essential part of your pitch. In one or two sentences, you should be able to state your name and your role at your startup. From this introduction, you should be able to start the conversation with whomever you meet.
Here, a few examples of introducing yourself and your startup to your audience and potential investors include:
“Hello, I am Mark, the founder at ImagineVerse that provides unique NFTs for your metaverse identity.”
It is a one-liner introduction that packs information about you, your job description at your startup, and what your startup does.
However, here is an example of a bad introduction:
“Hello, I am Mark, a cum laude Harvard graduate that excels in each of my endeavors. I am the founder of ImagineVerse. My startup is unique and the future face of Web 3.0 and all it is offering ….”
Try not to bore out your audience with all the nitty-gritty details. They do value their time, and so should you. Go straight to introducing yourself and your startup.
2. Problem Definition
The next one to two sentences in your pitch should include the problem definition. This part of your pitch should border around the existing problem and why it is a problem that needs to be solved. Your startup provides a value proposition, and your problem definition is a great way to grab your potential investor’s attention.
Your problem definition may include one or two-line statements such as:
“Creating NFTs that tell a story is a complex and difficult process for new users in the multiverse. Owning NFTs and making it available in the multiverse is an opportunity that should be available for all.”
That is an example of the problem your startup is trying to solve. You should define the current problem your startup is solving in simple terms to your audience.
3. Value Proposition
Now that you have the attention of your potential investor, it is time to show your startup’s value proposition. In 1–3 sentences, you should describe how your startup’s dynamic solution solves this problem for its current customers. Now that you must have the attention of your potential investor, it is time to water the seed you successfully planted.
4. Explain your target market
Nothing beats a knowledgeable startup founder that knows the figures and metrics by heart. Your interested investors want to know more about your target customers and how your solution is already solving their problems. This part of your pitch should include the market segmentation and groups of people you consider your target market.
You also want to mention the potential of the market when you scale your solution. Using metrics and figures here is essential to visualize the size. To gain more interest, you should mention what your average customer already spends per year. Then make a realistic estimate of the market size of your target market.
An example of what this ingredient should look like is –
“ImagineVerse targets the vast majority of people going into the multiverse every day for one reason or another. They need to express their identity in the way they choose. Specifically, our target audience is the young generation within the age of 15 and 35 who are tech-savvy and active users in the multiverse.”
5. Introduce your Team
Now it’s time for you to mention the team you have put together to make your startup’s idea a reality. A great idea is actionable only if the right team is available to build the startup. This part of your sales pitch is crucial as it highlights your team strength and skill set necessary to make your company successful.
Your startup has some subject matter experts on the leadership team. Mentioning whom you have on your startup’s board lends credibility and offers some form of reassurance to your potential investors. This part is also vital to erase the doubt behind the mind of investors as they can now see that you have the right set of people to execute your idea.
To introduce your team here is an example of what this part of your introduction should look like
“My team is comprised of highly skilled and motivated NFT artists and top designers that have passion for giving life to NFTs. On the board are Elon Musk and Bill Gates, among others.”
6. Round It Up
This ingredient is often your called-to-action. This helps you to highlight your business milestones, goals, and objectives. It includes upcoming targets you set, notable milestones your team already met, and upcoming milestones in your business schedule. This makes your pitch more realistic and exciting to your investors. This should be enough evidence that your startup is reaching its milestone and can become what you set out to achieve.
Finally, you want to make your startup as attractive as possible. Since your investor now understands what your startup is about, this call to action part is essential. When you put all the above points together, you should be able to achieve the purpose of your elevator pitch. To either get your potential investor to want to jump into business with you or set a second meeting immediately.
Common Mistake to Avoid During Elevator Pitch
Several startup founders fumble the ball when it comes to giving an elevator pitch. You do not want to pitch a cringe-worthy presentation to someone whom you want to notice your business. While creating and delivering your elevator pitch, costly mistakes you would like to avoid include
1. Talks with no Actions
Startup founders have to show where they are in terms of building out their idea instead of telling their immediate audience what it will look like eventually. This is a common mistake that founders make when making a pitch to a potential investor. You do not want to describe what is going on. In some ways, your potential investor expects you to show them a prototype of your solution.
Showing your investors what you can produce as a startup will help them make a decision faster. Investors do not want to know how much love your customers have for your product in your pitch. Although customer retention and their passion are essential, investors would instead like to see the percentage of customers that return to make an additional purchase in a given period.
2. Pitch Multiple Ideas
Startup founders have more than one idea they are working on at some point in their entrepreneurial journey. For different reasons, your thoughts are valid and worthy of your time and commitment. However, you need to pitch one idea at a time to your investors. This is to make sure that you do not confuse your audience nor have them in a state of confusion on which idea to invest their funds.
Pitching different ideas in the pipeline might also be a primary reason investors might not be sure about funding any of them. This is because you might not have enough energy and workforce to spread the different solutions you are trying to build.
3. Pushing for Conclusion
Your elevator pitch should include a call to action ending where you hope to get a response from your potential investor. One thing your investor might not appreciate is concluding for them or telling them what to think. You should only be presenting figures that are actionable in a conversational manner for effective communication.
Avoid using exaggerations in your words and phrases choices when describing your startup’s goals and objectives. Only present facts about your startup and let your investors determine their interest in terms of funding.
4. Different Pitch For The Same Startup
Your pitch should be a simple presentation that states the reason for your startup and keep it the same. It might become tempting to switch up your pitch when speaking with specific demography, and you should do well to resist this temptation. Irrespective of the audience you are meeting, your motivation and intention should be the same.
It is important to establish why you are starting your business and build your elevator pitch around it. This is an essential aspect of your pitch as your message should be constant across your audience. Your reason for starting your startup should be at the beginning of your elevator pitch.
Practice your Pitch
Your pitch is better committed to memory, so you can call it up when you need it. After working on your pitch with the pointers above, you should read and edit your pitch to sound as natural as possible. Your elevator pitch should be neither uptight nor too informal. Your elevator pitch should be conversational and engaging.
Practicing your pitch will help you understand where you need to pause for your audience to respond. It would help you figure out how to continue the conversation if a specific question arises or your conversation takes a detour. Below is a sample elevator pitch that you should deliver to your audience and potential investors when you need it –
“Hello, I am Mark, the founder at ImagineVerse that provides unique NFTs for your metaverse identity. Creating NFTs that tell a story is a complex and challenging process for new users in the multiverse. Owning NFTs and making them available in the multiverse is an opportunity that should be available for all. ImagineVerse targets the vast majority of people going into the multiverse every day for one reason or another. Specifically, our target audience is the young generation between 15 and 35, tech-savvy and active users in the multiverse. They need to express their identity in the way they choose. My team comprises highly skilled and motivated NFT artists and top designers that have a passion for giving life to NFTs. On the board are Elon Musk and Bill Gates, among others. So far, ImagineVerse has a 50% market cap in NFT design and development for use in the multiverse. We are pursuing expanding this figure to 55% at the end of this quarter and 60% by the end of the year. To achieve this, we are raising our following line of seed-fund to reach our next milestone. Do you think owning a piece of the metaverse is a good idea? Here is your chance to make a decision.”
Your confidence while delivering your pitch is another crucial aspect of your elevator pitch. As much as you have done the work of creating a great pitch, it would be best if you had that confidence to show that you are sure of what you are saying. Your 30–40 seconds pitch is a good length with all the information your audience needs to hear to make their decision. Putting up a confident presentation will give the extra reassurance that will make your potential investor decide in your favor.
Practicing enough awareness of your startup’s uniqueness will help you understand where your pitch should focus and how to perfect your pitch. You should do demo pitches to figures, colleagues, and friends to give you constructive feedback on what they think about your pitch and where you can improve. You can also record yourself giving your rise to analyze how to improve and pace your pitch for the best presentation delivery.
Keeping your investors and major stakeholders informed about your metrics progress is a crucial communication skill that we at Fundrs.VC value the most. Stay tuned for our platform that will help you ace those communications while keeping an eye on what’s important the most.