Give us your best short statement about yourself or your company
Yesterday, we got a few great Spotlight Pitches – responses to a spotlight question like “so, what do you do?” or “what’s your company all about?” Today, we got an idea from Mark Dykeman’s Broadcasting Brain post: how to start 2010 by doing better work. Great thoughts, fantastic choices, and what’s better, the format inspired us: we want to publish your “Spotlight Pitches” on Beg to Differ!
This is NOT an “elevator pitch”
Every time I work with clients on an “elevator pitch” for themselves or their company, three things happen: 1) they ask for time to prepare and make notes, 2) they try to figure out how much information they can cram into 30 seconds, and 3) they almost always end up sounding robotic – like they’ve memorized lines for a grade 3 class play.
And as for content, inevitably, the “pitch” that results leads to a long-winded, jargon-laden tangle of insider words that we then have to untangle, prune, and tune for a human audience.
Now there is absolutely value in nailing an elevator pitch, and my clients are always happy with the results. But it takes a lot of time, and you have to acknowledge up front that it’s an artificial construct. The truth is: you may never get your 30 seconds!
What you do get all the time are spotlight questions.
So your answer has to be:
- Conversational: it needs to sound natural, non-pushy, non-threatening. In other words, not like a “pitch”.
- Grade three reading level: use simple sentence structure, not too many modifiers or adjectives.
- Short: we’ll say 100 words or less, but you’ll get extra props if it’s “Twitter ReTweet friendly” – say 110 characters or less.
- Universal: it has to be clear enough to help someone who is not in your industry understand your thing. Think long lost cousin at a barbecue.
- Leave ’em wanting more: yes, answer their question, but in a way that also invites further conversation. Choose ideas that have legs.
- Take a few tries: Yesterday, people gave a few short bullet points – which helped us play a bit with possibilities.
- Open source: this is the Internet folks, so if you put it out there, it’s because you want comments, criticism, even remixing, etc.
- Open for re-publishing: unless you tell us not to, we’ll assume you’re cool if we publish, ReTweet some examples, or (with extra permission) discuss your pitch in more detail in future posts.