elevator pitch

6 Reasons why you need a stellar elevator pitch

It’s a key activity for any startup founder and most innovation and startup programs pay a lot of attention to it… Pitching! Before the program starts, I’m often asked why pitching is such an important aspect. Here are the 6 reasons why you need a stellar elevator pitch:

1. Forces you to explain your value proposition with great clarity

Building a startup is a search for a repeatable and scalable business model. The value proposition is key in this aspect. To find and attract customers, you need to be able to use exactly the right words to trigger the customer or the investor that fits your business. It takes practice and validation to find the words that stick in just a minute or less. Your pitch will get better over time, and that’s because you’re able to articulate more clearly what you’re doing.

2. Helps to understand your customer’s perspective

To really trigger someone, you need to be able to understand their problem better than they do themselves. In a pitch setting, you’re time-constrained, and you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. They want to hear the rest of your story if you show them you understand them and their market so you can potentially solve their problem. Especially for technical cofounders, it can be very difficult to take a customer’s perspective.

3. To find the people you need to make your vision a reality

A pitch is a perfect opportunity to find a new client, investor, or fan. You want to get them to do something: buy your product, invest in you, or open their network. Pitching is the perfect way to quickly find out if people are interested in supporting you.

Apart from your story and proposition, there is one very important element in doing so: enthusiasm. You have to radiate enthusiasm to get people to become enthusiastic as well.

4. It’s efficient

A good pitch is an opportunity for someone the quickly find out whether they like the value you’re offering and decide to invest more time or not. When you’re in an accelerator and meet hundreds of new people in about 3 months, you rather spend your time with the ones that add value. A good pitch will sort this out for you (or most of it, anyway).

5. Enables ambassadors to share your story in person

It’s easy to remember the most important elements of a good pitch. Team members, mentors, investors, and other ambassadors in your community will spread your story for you. Help them to do this by sharing your pitch with them and making it memorable. It will greatly enhance your chances of success.

6. Media love the pitch format

Startups and entrepreneurship is a hot topic for many online and offline media. The pitch format, whether in video or in written form, is very well suited for many media formats. Having your pitch ready when talking to journalists will pay you dividends.

How to craft your pitch story and slide deck is a series of blogposts on its own, but I’ll give a few pointers here. You ideally have a 1-minute, 3-minute and 8-minute version of your pitch ready. The most challenging is the 3-minute pitch, as you need to go beyond the headlines and craft a story while being forced to stick to the most important aspects of the story.

Good resources for drafting your pitch are:

If I’ve missed any reasons or you have some other good resources, please feel free to leave a comment.

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