This morning I attended an event at one of ROAM‘s new locations in Sandy Springs. The event was “Perfect Your Pitch at Elevator Pitch LIVE”, put on by the folks at Launch Youniversity. As is always the case at ROAM, the food was great, the coffee was hot, and the content was outstanding. The principals at Launch Youniversity are an entrepreneur, a pastor, and two executives at Chick-Fil-A. In other words, they have day jobs. This event, and the efforts behind it, is their side gig, a non profit organization aimed at “turning go-getters into difference makers by providing resources, tools and advice to get their ideas off the ground.”
The Elevator Pitch
At Pitch Practice, we’ve codified the 6 points of a great elevator pitch. However, as I have said early and often, it’s not the gospel of pitch, and you’re not going to hell if you don’t use it. A perfect example that illustrates my point is the wonderful tools that Kevin, Jeff, and David shared this morning. It’s a mnemonic device using the word “P.I.T.C.H.”
Give your audience a picture in their minds, like Steve Jobs did with the original iPod: “It’s like 1,000 songs in your pocket.” He could have explained how you get an iPod, download a bunch of .mp3 files, put your credit card on file, and sync up your computer to your iPod via a USB connector cable.
Very similar to Nancy Duarte’s science behind telling great stories, we must give our audience a vision into what the world will be like with our solution or idea. The ONE Movement’s motto is “Making Poverty History.”
Many times in Pitch Practice, when we ask “What’s the problem?”, we get an answer that is the description of the solution. Sometimes, it’s really simple to flip the solution on its head to get the problem. They called this “Trading Places” and used John F. Kennedy’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Again from Duarte’s method, we contrast the way the world (or some part of it) is today with how it might be with our idea implemented. “I have a dream!”, said Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hearing a Rhyme
They called this “the phrase that pays.” Unfortunately, I was instantly taken to Seinfeld, “The Chicken Roaster”, Season 8, Episode 8, in which George leaves his soon-to-be-ex girlfriend’s apartment with his name as a jingle, “Co-STAN-za!” (to the tune of “By Mennen” for those of you who used to have “television commercials”). But I digress. Leaving your audience with a simple phrase they can remember is powerful. If it rhymes, they’ll never forget it. “Just do it,” “Finger lickin’ good”, and “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” come to mind.
The Elevator Pitch Course
Launch Youniversity is offering an elevator pitch course to help anyone develop their pitch. Similar to Pitch Practice, the initial focus is on defining the problem so you can articulate the problem in words that your audience understands. We do so to demonstrate empathy with our audience.