How To Pitch Your Dream

In the entrepreneurial quest you get asked this question a lot -  “What do you do?” After you answer them, do their eyes gloss over?

There’s a ton of advice out there for the best way to answer that question. The classic description of having something great to say back is an elevator pitch, or in this case, a dream elevator pitch.

I’ll give you an example of what not to do. For several years I offered the stock answer:

I design and build custom web sites for small business

SNORE.

Sure that’s part of what I DO, but it doesn’t cover the results, interaction or long-term goals we have for the clients project.

I’ve picked up a few tips over the past several years in promoting my primary business, Forward Motion Studios, through several networking events. Now my answer goes something like this:

Forward Motion Studios helps small business figure out what online marketing can do for their business. We make it easy to find your customers online so you don’t have to.

Still needs work. This is a super short quick introduction version that would fit well in a networking event. One example of many, since part of the dream elevator pitch process is to tailor it to your environment.

Key elements of a pitch:

  1. A hook – The first few seconds are key. The reality is we all have a million things going through our head every second of every day, so jolting someone into the present so they can listen is critical. What exactly is the value you are proposing to offer? What problem are you solving?
  2. Passion – If you aren’t feeling passion for what you are pitching, no one else will feel the passion.  doesn’t come through,
  3. Keep it simple – Every industry has it jargon, acronyms and tech speak. Now is not the time to use it. If you rattle off some technical information the listener does not know, their mind is now focused on trying to figure out what the heck that is, and has stopped listening to you. Make sure your grandmother AND your 5th grader can get it.
  4. Request – Whether the focus is a request for investment, or a new niche client base, asking for something is at the heart of your dream elevator pitch. Ask what you want or need, and make it clear.
  5. Listen – we know the ratio of our ears to mouth is 2:1 and I can tell you that most people I run into at networking events forget the simple rule of listening. This can be vital during the pitch to pick up clues on the persons interest in what your saying, and if they even get it.
  6. Practice – everyone has those moments of completely blanking out. In a pitch, the few seconds you need to get your thoughts together might make or break a deal. Practice it until your family is begging you to stop. Then practice it again.

Need some more help? You can check out “Elevator Pitch Essentials” by Chris O’Leary for some incredible real-life pitch examples, good and bad, and learn what to avoid.

Are you one of those people that hate to brag and talk about themselves? Business guru Guy Kawasaki offers some great advice on the art of schmoozing… which comes in handy in several environments you will want to share your dream elevator pitch.

How would you pitch your dream?

Who do you talk to on a regular basis that may not even know what your dream goals are? Does your family even know?

Comment and give us your dream elevator pitch… You never know who is out there to help.

Heather

Heather’s dream is to have multiple streams of income, starting with launching an e-commerce website that showcases her couture jewelry, which are crafted by her. You can find Heather online at For Your Adornment; Etsy.com; and Twitter And Beyond Dot Com. She also teaches Social Media tactics for business, besides being CEO of her own web design company. Heather’s post day is Friday.

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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  • Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson

    Great post on the elevator pitch! Your points were exactly right. I would add that in today’s business environment, people don’t want to be sold. Trust and relationships must come before the sale. People buy YOU before they buy your product or dream. Too many of us rush the process and try to give them the information before we’ve really gotten to know them – like being on a first date and listing off the reasons why they should marry you. It’s hard to do in a networking environment where you may only have a few minutes, but I still think that it’s more important to make that human connection first. And it actually can be done in the elevator pitch if you craft it more like a real personal story of what you do and why and how it benefits them. And sometimes the pitch isn’t really necessary if you are walking your talk. For example – I got really tired of telling people that I’m a comedian and motivational speaker who does programs about….blah, blah, blah…I’m already bored. So I ditched the pitch and just focused on having conversations where I made people laugh and encouraged them. Before I knew it, they were asking me about my business with great interest. And it’s always more fun when they genuinely ask you! Again, great post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

    I like the way you are thinking! xox Rem