When you write out an idea it’s tempting to include everything. First, the part of the idea that was nifty; then the part of the idea that explained what you meant; and finally the words that convey the essence of the idea.
When you say that idea out loud to someone who’s never heard it before, you realize instantly whether that idea is any good. And you probably notice that you need to take out a lot of words before your pitch sounds more like how people talk.
Pitching is an art. When you’re at an event or a trade show, you get the opportunity to practice that pitch lots of times. The problem is that you can get comfortable with a pitch whether or not it’s a good one.
The best pitches sound natural – they are succinct statements of value that use the fewest words possible. They don’t sound forced, and they solve a problem for the customer.
Effective pitches are also transactional – you are trading value for attention so you had better be valuable. Here are a few things I’ve learned lately while sharing ideas:
1) be brief. What can you say in the first 10-15 seconds that will encourage the person to learn more?
2) be respectful – remember that you are often interrupting someone when you pitch. Even if they are in the mode of receiving and evaluating information, why should they care?
3) give to get – finally, offer something of value and be specific about what your delivering. Are you saving the customer time, money, or something else?
Good luck on your next pitch!