My comments are….
I liked the article, the elevator pitch I believe is extremely important (hence why it was fun to digest it fully and have a good reflection on the topic and summarise my thoughts here). Whatever your “world changing idea” is, you must be able to boil it down to a core short and inspiring message.
The list of top 10 great tips for the elevator pitch, according to the article goes something like this;
- Keep it short and concise
- Get your prospect “hooked”
- Pitch yourself, not your ideas
- Don’t forget the pitch (the “What do you need”)
- Don’t overwhelm with technical or statistical terminology
- Use the same tactics for print
- Be involved in the startup community
Read the full article for all the details behind each point.
My comments, if this was really to be a “top 10” list of tips (as opposed to just random hints) are;
- I would redo hint number 3 (“Pitch yourself, not your ideas“);
.. Its not mostly just about you (nor is is about the idea), I believe when talking about you, your skills and the idea, its about your true passion for the “idea” (being the idea, the timings and your ability to succeed). Ideas are everywhere and so are good skilled entrepreneurs. Finding the right combination of these elements and harnessing the “spark” is what can truly convince people of your idea (and I do agree with the article saying the idea might change several times over).
- I would cautiously add to number 5 (“Don’t overwhelm with technical or statistical terminology“);
Don’t rely on the market size and the “if I only got 1% of the market it would be worth..”. This is used too often and has less and less value and impact when people hear it nowadays. The classic one is “the iPhone App Market” industry which was worth $2.4 billion USD in 2009, predicted to $4.5 billion USD in 2010. Throwing around the numbers only makes you sound non-serious (its like you are telling me “even if my app sucked I could get 0.5% of the market and still make it big”). People would rather hear WHAT you are going to do that is so innovative and how you are going to BEAT the competition (even if there are no actual competitors in this space, how are you going to claim the mindshare of people and compete with other apps/companies for your time-poor customers).
- On item 7, “Using the same tactics for print“;
While a great speaker does not always make a great writer (I’ve seen it many times), the tactics, in part, as the article points out, is the same. To summarise; keep it short, precise, spicy and actionable. Don’t be afraid of TOC’s and sub headings in a mail if its necessary but if you have to do that chances are also that you’ve written too much and have to cut down. I would even make the headline a bit more interesting than in the example, depending on your audience and how likely they are otherwise going to open your mail.
This article that is mentioned was part of a new Channel on ReadWriteWeb called “Start” which is intended for startups and first time entrepreneurs. Seems like a decent blog actually, hopefully another hit for the New Zealander Richard MacManus – gotta give those NZ’ers credit where its due 😉