Even if you know your product/concept inside and out, there are still many potential pitfalls to speaking in front the throne of venture capital. It’s not the time to be short-sighted, it’s best to understand your product through the eyes of someone else. Here are three steps to a perfect elevator pitch.
1. Narrow Your Idea Down
As the old adage goes, less is more – and the same is true in this case. You never want to give up your whole pitch right off that bat. Find a good opening sentence and let it sink in among your audience. If they ask anything further, mission accomplished. If you are having trouble narrowing it down, ask your friends and colleagues how they would describe your product. Get an idea of what others have to say about it.
2. Ask a Question
In any presenting capacity, it’s often effective to engage your audience by asking a question. For example: “Are you familiar with Uber?” The obvious answer here is yes, and now you can follow up with something like “we want to be the Uber of parking in major cities.” It could be anything. This allows you the pitcher to get your concept across quickly and effectively, which more often than not leads to followup questions.
3. Be Calm and Listen
After your postured up and got your short and sweet message across, it’s time to listen carefully. One common pitfall is giving into the urge of rambling about the details of feature A, B and C and how they will change the marketplace forever. Before you speak, understand that if they want to hear more, the investors will ask. Only talk about your features and numbers when you are asked to do so. Beyond looking professional, doing this is a matter of respect.