The Elevator Pitch
You will be talking to a lot of people about your venture – potential investors, influencers, corporates, customers, partners, etc. It is good to have a (customisable) slide deck available. That is your “elevator pitch” . This module talks about the pitch.
The idea of having an elevator pitch is to be able to tell (and sell) your business idea in a few minutes. The phrase came from the idea that you may be forced to ride in an elevator with your potential investor or partner and that is all the time you have to convince them of your idea. Now it is common practice to ask for such a pitch at demo days, investor meetings, startup competitions… in fact almost any gathering of entrepreneurs – so it is essential you have one. It is also important that you have this ability to compress your business idea into a small time-bite as it shows that you clearly understand what you are trying to achieve.
You are still in the early stages of the journey, but you cannot start practising your pitch too soon. Therefore we will end this UWC Mashauri Venture Accelerator Programme with a pitch that will nicely wrap together the work you have done and set you up for the next phase.
There are literally millions of articles, books, videos and blogs written on how to pitch (Google it if you do not believe us) – and we have scoured the web for the best ideas which we incorporate into our pitching modules in our programmes.
We suggest you read our tips below – and then go and try and compile your pitch using our template.
Our additional tips are:
- Use a story to tell your story. Pick some real (or made up) customers who share the pain you are trying to relieve and how you have relieved it. Paint a picture of the individual in your audiences head – you need to make it real! Refer to that customer through the presentation.
- Be aware of who your audience is, their state of mind and what action you desire from them. You are likely to deliver your pitch in a variety of situations and you need to adapt your approach to the context. If you are number 8 in a series of 10 pitches to investors on a demo day, your approach should not be the same as a one-on-one with an Angel Investor.
- Remember the lessons from The Golden Circle and the Art of Selling (earlier in this section).
- We like the use of pictures and images to really have impact. Few words, great images. But do not let the images distract from the story. They must be relevant.
- You should select the slides you need based on the audience and the time available and your objectives. Ideally, there should be one slide you can use if you were forced to only use one and describe your concept in one minute.
- It is important that you rehearse the presentation until you are totally familiar with it. It is a good idea to write a script and keep using it until you are word perfect. It will feel a bit false to begin with but eventually it will sound totally natural. Also – make sure all of your team can make the same presentation in the same way.
Below are some examples of pitches. These are founders who are ahead of you in the process, but it is good to see what a “final product” looks like (plus they are fun to watch):
The first is Miss App: a good presentation from a young woman.
Now if you are ready – onto the assignment ……