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Pitchfalls: how to take your elevator pitch from terrible to terrific in no time flat

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Pitchfalls: how to take your elevator pitch from terrible to terrific in no time flat

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Great organizations can run into some serious challenges when delivering their elevator pitch. The average person used 15,000 words a day. Why not use those words to drive action and engagement and other awesome stuff?

Great organizations can run into some serious challenges when delivering their elevator pitch. The average person used 15,000 words a day. Why not use those words to drive action and engagement and other awesome stuff?

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Pitchfalls: how to take your elevator pitch from terrible to terrific in no time flat

  1. 1. How Great NonProfit Pitches Go Very Wrong* Erica Mills Chief Word Nerd Claxon Marketing *and what you can do about it
  2. 2. The average adult uses 15,000 words a day. According to Matthias R. Mehl, University of Arizona Assistant Professor of Psychology, in a 2007 research study
  3. 3. Some of your words will be about what you do. elevator pitch noun e-ˈ l - v -t r pichə ˌ ā ə ˈ a short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition.* *source:wikipedia
  4. 4. OK, seriously: why do we get tongue-tied when it comes to delivering a pitch? Get nervous just thinking about delivering your pitch? Quick, look at this cute dog picture and you’ll feel better.
  5. 5. Anxiety-inducing Reason #1: We think a pitch is about closing a deal. It’s really about opening a door!
  6. 6. The point of a pitch is to inspire action and engagement. You want the recipient to… Show interest Ask questions Repeat your message to others
  7. 7. Anxiety-inducing Reason #2: We have all experienced bad pitches. We fear sounding like a Used Car Salesman, kinda like this dude. (Ick!)
  8. 8. “Say it ain’t so!” All this anxiety about closing doors and sounding like a used car salesman leads to (gasp) PITCHFALLS!
  9. 9. Top 5 Pitchfalls 1. You sound like a robot. 2. You talk about yourself. 3. You talk too much. 4. You use jargon. 5. You sound like a talking tagline. We’re about to fix some PITCHFALLS, yo.
  10. 10. Pitchfall #1: You sound like a robot This does not compute.
  11. 11. Answer: #1 Your message was handed down from on high. Question: Why the robo- speak, friend?
  12. 12. Answer #2: You fear rejection. “Here’s the hand. You know what to do.” Cruel irony alert: The more you care, the more you fear rejection, and the more you sound like a robot. Doh.
  13. 13. Remember…there are three components to communication What you say (like, you know, the actual words) How you say it, i.e. tone of voice Body language, including (but not limited to) gestures, facial expressions, and arm crossing. #1 Verbal #2 Para-verbal #3 Non-verbal
  14. 14. The fix for verbal robotitis? Practice saying your pitch using all three components, aka like yourself. If it’s too difficult, it’s a sign your pitch needs to be simplified. (Or it’s a sign that you are, actually, a robot.)
  15. 15. Me. Me. Me. Me. Pitchfall #2: You only talk about yourself. zzzz…
  16. 16. The five most frequently used words (written, spoken and otherwise): #5: a #4: to #3: and #2: the And, THE most frequently used word…(drumroll please)… “I”
  17. 17. HUMAN NATURE 101: People care most about themselves* *even really nice people THEIR kids THEIR goals THEIR job THEIR beliefs
  18. 18. The fix: Connect what YOU do to what THEY care about Talk about benefits instead of outcomes Use “you” and “your” (or in certain parts of the US, “yous”) We build eco- friendly homes for people like you and your family.
  19. 19. Blah Blah Blah Blah Pitchfall #3: You talk too much.
  20. 20. When you tell someone everything, they remember nothing. I can’t believe you’re still talking. I’m thinking about what I am going to have for dinner.
  21. 21. “You have to understand that nothing appeals to everybody” -Gene Simmons
  22. 22. The fix: develop three different-sized versions of your pitch Tall Grande Venti 10 words: for new acquaintances 25 words: for introductory conversations about what you do 50 words: for when you have a captive audience
  23. 23. So it's really about synergic abilities in the social ecosphere. Pitchfall #4: You use jargon You lost me at synergic…
  24. 24. Over-used words lose their meaning It was so IRONIC, it was LITERALLY AMAZING!
  25. 25. The fix: Outsider editorial review Have someone outside of your organization listen to your pitch. Ask them to highlight jargon, buzzwords and quasi-meaningless gobbledygook. And if you say a no-no word, everybody drinks!
  26. 26. I work for Nike. We help you just do it! Pitchfall #5: You sound like a talking tagline.
  27. 27. Taglines are read, not said When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. Dude, nobody talks like that
  28. 28. The fix: translate your pitch into something people can say without sounding weird or creepy People reading taglines feeling both weird AND creepy
  29. 29. Practice Practice isn’t about perfection. It’s about progress. Test your pitch by asking: Is it remarkable? Will people talk about you, your work, your cause to others? Do people ask questions that will lead to a conversation that will, eventually, lead to engagement in, and support of, you, your work, your cause?
  30. 30. Want to be really, truly, completely free of all Pitchfalls? Buy your own copy of Pitchfalls: why bad pitches

Editor's Notes

  • Kyle
  • Kyle: Need an image for each Pitchfall.
  • Kyle: Need an image for each Pitchfall.
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