Power of the Pitch by Elizabeth Scallon

Power of the Pitch by Elizabeth Scallon

Every entrepreneur needs to share their business plan and vision to attract investors, customers and employees. In the business world, we call this a pitch. A pitch is a clear concise story that describes the elements of the business that is a package of talking points and ideas including:

  • The Problem that the business is addressing; 
  • The Competitive Landscape or the status quo for how that problem is solved today; 
  • The New Solution/Tech the business is bringing to the market; 
  • The Unique Value Proposition that explains the value the business is bringing to the market; The Business Model on how the business makes and spends money; 
  • The Team of founders and executives that will bring this solution to the market and can deliver on the vision;
  • The Traction or the progress that has been made thus far in the business, such as hiring employees, developing the product/service, customers/revenue, etc; 
  • The Go To Market Plan which explains who the customers are and the plan to grow the market; 
  • The Ask and a Thank You, where the entrepreneur asks the audience for something, such as an investment, connections to customers, and then also thanks the audience for their time while providing contact information to follow up. 

The pitch can be short like 90 seconds (an elevator ride), or can be stretched to over 10 minutes long with slides for each business element. An entrepreneur should be ready to give both a short and longer version of their pitch, for opportunities to tell the business story are abundant.  

Pitching is hard and here are the top 3 faux pas people make:

  1. Not Being Honest - 

Do not share any false information in your pitch. Every company started with just an idea. It is totally acceptable to be early on your journey and still learning from your potential customers on what they need and are willing to pay for. Be honest with your audience and tell them only accurate information. If an entrepreneur is asked a question they don’t know, it is also acceptable to say “I don’t know, let me look into that, and get back to you.” Do not make up answers that are not accurate or truthful. 

  1. Not Listening -

Part of telling great stories is listening afterwards to reaction and feedback. If you have a 30 min meeting with someone, pitch for 10 minutes (or less) and make the conversation a dialogue. Listen with presence, and not just to answer. The people an entrepreneur is sharing their business story with are important, and what they think, what they say, is valuable, even if the entrepreneur disagrees with it. Receiving feedback is a gift and needs to be treated accordingly. 

  1. Not Having a Clear Vision -

When pitching every entrepreneur needs to be clear on describing what they are doing, why they are doing it, how they are doing it, and why this team is the best in the world to execute this vision. Keep refining the story till it is concise. The pitch should be reviewed monthly if not weekly to ensure that the elements of the story are still accurate and clear given all the new learnings and happenings in the business. 

Pitching is a great skill for all entrepreneurs to have. Good luck on your journey!

Want to see Elizabeth in action? Check out the On The Way Up:  Elevator Pitch Series presented by Women in Voice on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm (PST.)  


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