What it takes to turn that frown upside down from an investor in 30 seconds

On a day when Mumbai is pouring down with rain, the power packed session by SHALINI DABHOLKAR was the perfect counter.

Speaker Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shalini-dabholkar-61889511/

Venue: Sardar Patel Business Incubation Center (SP-TBI, http://sptbi.spit.ac.in/ )

Theme: The Power of an Elevator Pitch

Shalini starts off with stating how pitching is something that we do day in and day out without realizing, when you introduce yourself to stranger at a party, meeting an old friend or the toughest of all a love proposal.

The mundane output of such pitches is exchange of business cards, but did it leave an impact is what one needs to ask oneself, she opines CONCISE and COMPELLING are the two most important ingredients of an Elevator Pitch.

For an entrepreneur grabbing opportunities is as important as solving problems, you get dragged into different situations be it mom’s kitty parties where someone has great contacts, you turn it into your pitching ground after all networking is the middle name of an entrepreneur where an Elevator Pitch is your life jacket.

PART 1: Understanding what to do

The four most important elements of an elevator pitch are:

  • Compelling introduction of yourself or organization.
  • What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
  • What is the potential of it from the perspective of customer usability?
  • What are you expecting from the other person at the end of this pitch? (Meeting, Referral, Full-fledged presentation session!!??)

PART 2: Understanding whom to do it to

One pitch for all doesn’t do the job, she advises that pitch version should be varied depending on the person you are addressing

  • Version 1: Pitch for a customer
  • Version 2: Pitch for a potential investor
  • Version 3: Pitch for a partnership
  • Version 4: Pitch for recruiting the person on-board
  • Version 5: Pitch for network building sessions

- Top the versions with 30, 60 and 90 seconds formats, having them in different lengths comes handy too.

- If startups are asked to make a proper presentation, then the elevator pitch that one gives at the start usually lasts for 90 seconds.

PART 3: Understanding how to do it

Fumbling, mumbling in an elevator pitch would be worst possible nightmare for an entrepreneur, it backfires not just on the individual but also on the startup. Portraying the following things during a delivery grabs the attention of the listener

  • Projecting Confidence
  • Making it sound very well prepared but not rehearsed
  • Tuned to the Recipient (Will he/she be sold on Value proposition, Vision, Idea itself, Addressing market or target audience)

As cliche as it sounds it comes out of practice, practice and practice. Pitch to your family, pitch to your friends (validation matters it boosts your pitching skills), it all gets down to Einstein’s quote “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”

PART 4: Understanding how you did it/ success measures

If one receives the responses

  • That’s very interesting
  • Can I know more about it?
  • Meet to discuss this further?
  • How does it actually work?

From these you get to know that you have clicked and rightly gauged the listeners excitement propositions.

Just questioning oneself how many people that one has met over the last ten days, could be turned to opportunities for pitching makes one understand its importance. She herself did not know the importance when she started, once she did, it took her 2 complete days to build an elevator pitch.

PART 5: Understanding the pit falls

  • Wasting 90% of pitch time in projecting/ showing off how well an entrepreneur knows about the industry (Remember you are not giving content for a news article)
  • Making it too technical, keep it somewhere above layman and below sector expert
  • Not understanding the language barriers, either the pitcher or the listener might not be comfortable in English at times, so find a common ground
  • Not understanding that the weightage of Business model, Revenue plan, Market Research, Secondary Research everything = ONE ELEVATOR PITCH

Think it through, two days and little mentorship from right people is all it takes to set an entrepreneur ready for his/her limelight of 30 seconds.