Follow These Five Do’s and Don’ts to Get a YES on Your Next Pitch

EVERYONE NEEDS A GOOD ELEVATOR PITCH AND FEW PEOPLE HAVE ONE. YOU HAVE TO PITCH YOURSELF TO GET HIRED OR TO GET PEOPLE TO JOIN YOUR TEAM. WHAT IF YOU COULD DO IT IN A WAY THAT IS CONVERSATIONAL, CONCISE, AND COMPELLING? WELL YOU CAN IF YOU FOLLOW MY FIVE DO’S AND DON’TS TO PITCHING ANYTHING

1. Don’t Bore Your Audience

When you talk from the left side of your brain with numbers and talk about how something works, you appeal to people’s logic, and that usually ends up boring them quickly. No one remembers your numbers.

Do inspire them with a story. The right side of your brain is where imagination lives and inspires people to take action. Tell your story of origin and take people on the hero’s journey with you. When you get people to engage emotionally, they remember your stories.

2. Don’t Confuse Your Audience

The confused mind always says no. When you use industry buzz words or make something so complex it is hard to understand, people check out.

Do give them clarity. A great elevator pitch tells in 90 seconds or less “Here is who I help and what problem I solve.” When you pitch, the whole goal is to get people to say, “That is interesting, tell me more.”

3. Don’t Stumble Through Your Pitch

Arthur Ashe said, “The key to success is confidence, and the key to confidence is preparation.” You don’t have to memorize what you will say, but you do need to practice it just like an athlete practices before the big game.

Do soar through your pitch. This is when you have a conversation with the audience and act like a human, not a robot. When you express your passion and explain why you are the perfect person to execute the idea, that gets people to say yes. You also want to show the audience why now is the perfect time to make this happen.

4. Don’t Say You Don’t Have Any Competition

When you say you don’t have any competition, it means you don’t have a market that wants what you are selling. Also, don’t trash talk your competition.

Do say how you have barriers to entry to the competition. Investors want to know what makes you unique and what will prevent someone else from coming in and putting you out of business. For example, you want to show you have a patent and that you have a huge lead on development of an app that would take competitors years to catch up with you.

5. Don’t Try to Boil the Ocean

Many people make the mistake of trying to launch with multiple products serving multiple markets, which dilutes your focus and your ability to deliver and get proof of concept.

Do focus on solving one problem. Remember Amazon just sold books online and proved people would buy them on their platform before they sold many other products. Pick the low-hanging fruit and get that to work first.

If you follow these five “do” tips you will go from invisible to irresistible with a great pitch. Remember don’t push your message by selling, but pull people in with great stories. People have to trust, like and know you before they want to say yes to whatever it is you pitch.


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About the Author: John Livesay

John Livesay is The Pitch WhispererTM, who is a keynote speaker to luxury brands and shares lessons learned from his award winning career at Conde Nast. His keynote talks teach luxury brands how to be irresistible so they can instill in their customers the “Gotta Have It” feeling. When that happens the brands creates loyalty and a story that gets the crucial word of mouth in high gear across social media.