In Part 2, we looked at the 5 elements that should always be present and how to work them into a catchy, concise one-breath or 10-second pitch. Did you practice? If you did, you’ll be ready to expand upon it now to fit longer time frames. That means you get to say even more! But, each word must be carefully selected to land with impact on the ears of your target audience. Controlled. No rambling. You’ve interested them with a hook, now you must keep them on the line and land them.
30 Second pitch
Be prepared to speak for 30 seconds. Look at your 10-second pitch and see what you can add. You might expand upon the hook or present more of the features and benefits you provide. Practice and time yourself as you add things to be sure you can speak it conversationally, with pauses, and bring it in under the wire.
Definitely don’t try to use up the full 30 seconds. Why? You don’t want to chance being interrupted or losing your place and running out of time, nor do you want to risk running over and boring your audience. The more you try to say, the more pauses you need – for emphasis and to help the audience hear and understand each word. That can frustrate you because you want to say more and can’t. Don’t try to rush your pitch so you can fit it all in. It will be dead on arrival.
Practice speaking out loud, while standing, while moving around, without notes, with gestures, with eye contact, with and without an audience. Do this regularly – maybe daily in short spurts – so it becomes a part of you, coming out easily but not sounding rote. So you don’t have to read or memorize.
Example of going from 10 to 30 seconds
This can be delivered in 10 seconds: “I train businesspeople to think and speak confidently and effectively under pressure. I am Sandy Bjorgen, founder of IMPROV-able Results.”
The above can be turned into a 30-seond pitch: “I train businesspeople to think and speak confidently, effectively, and creatively under pressure: before an audience, on camera, and one-to-one. I am Sandy Bjorgen, founder of IMPROV-able Results. You may have a fantastic business, idea, or organization, but it will not sell itself, will it? If you do not stand out, you are invisible.
Use the same process above to create 45 and 60-second pitches. Be prepared in case you’re granted more floor time – however, you could deliver a potent 30-second pitch and it would be fine. Better to go under time than over. You might even have an opportunity to speak for 2 minutes. But that doesn’t mean you should cram in a lot more points or wing it. Here’s a good way to handle that at roundtable intros: deliver a 60-second pitch, then start talking to the others, drawing out their related concerns – in other words, use it as a “sales call” or “training opportunity.” You want people to come up to you and ask questions after a short pitch. In this case, they’re already there – talk with them. It’s your time – don’t give it up.
Be ready to stand up and stand out
You’ll notice others beginning with their personal and business names and you might feel out of place. That’s okay. You’ll stand out. You’ll notice others rambling, babbling, winging it. Let yourself feel pleased that you’re a pro and a good rep for your business.