In the first of my client blog posts, Barbara Moynihan from On Your Feet offers her top tips for when giving your 60-second pitch.  Barbara runs full day Presentation Skills courses, as well as in-company training.  Barbara also offers one to one coaching for anyone who prefers a confidential session.


Top tips for your 60-second pitch
If you regularly attend networking events you will be familiar with the 60-second pitch. For some people it is more difficult than a full blown presentation!
Here are some tips to help when putting together your 60-second pitch. The first 4 are considerations for before and during your pitch, and the 5th is a suggested structure for your pitch. Enjoy!


Tip 1
WII FM – this is the radio station playing in the listeners’ head – as soon as you stand up to deliver your pitch they are thinking What’s In It For Me? Always focus on how you, your product, or your service can help them. The most persuasive word in the English language (according to a study done by Yale University 1970) is “you”. Try to focus on the needs of the audience and ensure they know that you have considered the “you” which translates to “me” for them.


Tip 2
Short and snappy – the average person speaks at between 110 and 200 words per minute – although in some parts of Ireland I reckon this figure can get as high as 300! Ideally, when delivering your pitch you should aim to speak at a rate of approximately 120 words per minute or 2 words a second. It is useful to keep your sentences short and snappy in order to make your message easy to understand, and also to help you to speak slower. In all instances Less Is More – your aim is to have them approach you and ask you to tell them more.


Tip 3
12 x 12 x 12 – this is a concept in Ivan Misner’s book “Networking like a Pro”. The first 12 refers to how you look from 12 feet, are you dressed for the occasion? Have you a spring in your step and what is your posture like? It is amazing the difference in perception and your own confidence when you stand up straight rather than slouch.
The second 12 refers to how you look from 12 inches, in other words up close. Do you have food stuck in your teeth? Are there stains on your clothes or do you have a cappuccino moustache?  The latter I sported once through a whole meeting – not good for the image!
The final 12 refers to the first 12 words you use to describe your product or service. Note, this is 12 words, not 120! Have you ever asked a person the question “what line of business are you in?” and instead of them telling you what they do, they launch into their full 60-second pitch. It is really useful to have 12 words (or even less) that describe your product or service in a way that will cause your listener to say “tell me more”. This 12 word description is used in the structure detailed below.


Tip 4  
Smile – they say a smile is like a handshake with the audience. Sometimes smiling is challenging, particularly at early morning networking events, so at the very minimum make an effort to look pleasant. Do not be put off when your listeners look anything but pleasant and may even scowl at you. Chances are your listeners are not actually scowling at you, but maybe they are concentrating on what they will say for their 60-second pitch. Remember also to smile or look pleasant as others are delivering their pitch – it makes it a little easier for them, it also shows that you are a friendly approachable person!


Tip 5
Structure – using a structure can be really helpful to ensure that you stay within the 60-second time frame, and also get the key points across. One structure that can work well is:
  1. Name & Company – state with enthusiasm and clearly
  2. My service or product is – maximum of 12 words
  3. Demand I meet / Problem I solve – be very clear on this
  4. I am unique/different because – sometimes known as your “USP” unique selling point
  5. You should care / You need me because – your opportunity to use the most persuasive word!
Repeat your name & give your website address as you sit down.


Bonus Tip
It is really useful to practice your pitch out loud and maybe even record it on your phone – you can have a quick listen just before you go into your event.


Barbara Moynihan
On Your Feet
T: 01 254 2206