How to Pitch Anything in Two Minutes

From BusinessWeek:

  • Demonstrate enthusiasm – “Now here’s something I’m really excited about.”
  • Find a personal connection – He spent a few seconds talking about how he grew up with this company’s products in his home and just how ingrained the products were in his country’s culture. By doing so, he showed he cared about the product and wasn’t just paid to pitch something with which he had no personal connection. Remember, people want to like the person behind the product.
  • Sell the benefit – Instead of simply demonstrating the features behind the product, the chef sold the benefit behind the features. This is a critical persuasion technique. Identify the potential problem before offering a solution.
  • Tell stories – “Let me tell you about an experience I had with a world-renowned chef in London…” With that, the chef regaled us with memories of his travels. Stories create connections between individuals. They can tell your listeners more about your product than just the facts. For example, in the area of enterprise security technology, I recently met a smart IT manager who successfully sells ideas by telling stories. He doesn’t start a pitch by saying: “This enterprise level security solution represents best-in-class technology for our scalable architecture.” Instead, he tells stories that begin like this: “Imagine walking into work Monday morning to find that your computers had been stolen…” Simple stories can take under 30 seconds to tell but can offer more information than mountains of data.

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