Jeffery Widjaja, Storage Shepherd
Imagine this scenario – you’re standing in a lift next to a well known investor who can bring your business to the next level and you only have 60 seconds before they leave. Would you be able to seize their interest?
Just over a year ago, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to. I may not be a seasoned entrepreneur, but through my time in Entrepreneurial Spark, watching videos by Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson & Brian Chesky (personal role models of mine), listening to podcasts and meeting people from all walks of corporate life, I picked up a couple of things. Refining all of what encompasses your idea into a few sentences certainly proved to be quite difficult. Eventually, my co-founder and I won the Voom pitching competition in Newcastle.
Whether it’s to an investor or an audience, to create an efficient 60-second pitch, you need to tell a compelling story in a structured manner. This is the tried and tested structure we’ve used at Storage Shepherd;
Seize attention with a good hook
Having a good hook will mean your audience will be attentive and curious about what you have to say. This could be through a question or statement. The trick here, is to connect with your audience via a sense of relatability and familiarity. If you can also evoke strong emotive feelings, even better. The bait has been laid.
One of the best hooks we’ve used was this: What would you do with an extra £1,800 in your pocket?
Set the stage with the problem
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, it’s important to keep the story going. Don’t start talking about yourself, your team, product, anything. The most important thing right now is to set the stage, so to speak. Talk about the problem. What’s getting in between your client and their happiness, their convenience, their wants and needs? Again, if you can elicit a sense of relatability via showing how this problem directly affects not only the audience but also other people, even better.
For us, we conveyed several problems regarding self-storage and parking – expensive, inconvenient, poor customer service, and low satisfaction levels.
Is it the right time? Share your vision
Now that you’ve addressed the problem, you’re going to need to answer a relatively simple question– are people really going to change the way they are doing things for your product or service? Share your vision, show the audience your destination and they’ll be more likely to be roped in.
After laying out your vision, now is the time to introduce your revolutionary product or service. Bonus points if you can identify obstacles in reaching your vision and explain how your product or service will overcome them.
Our vision is to be the number one storage & parking marketplace platform by bringing back that sense of community we have lost long ago. A platform where people can help each other out, where we create value in our own communities and support each other.
Research, traction, evidence
At this point, your audience may or may not be skeptical. So, you’re going to need to show evidence that supports the notion that your vision is indeed viable and attainable. Demos, feedback from early adopters and testimonials are just some examples of evidence to show that you have traction.
Your pitch will always be a working, changing document. As your business scales, your model will change, and you will need to change your pitch accordingly. Similarly, you will have to adapt your pitch to your audience.
Some of the biggest mistakes we’ve made while creating our pitch include cramming too many details into the 60 seconds. Don’t think of it as “how can I fit the most amount of information into 60 seconds”, but rather think of it as “how can I make the most of a maximum of 60 seconds to deliver a clear message?” One easy way to avoid this is to get rid of the tech language and just focus on the need. At most, I’d recommend proposing your solution in one or maybe two sentences. Remember, if you’ve delivered an effective pitch, questions will follow.
Of course, this should be in conjunction with your other materials, including your business model, pitch deck and your one-pager. As a starting point however, with this structure, you’ll be able to get your foot in the door with your audience, hook, line and sinker.
If you’d like any advice or would like to share your experience in creating your perfect 60 second pitch, please get in touch at email@example.com