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A. define what a pitch is;
B. use a pitch to convey an efficient message in a very short time;
C. identify the characteristics of a successful pitch.

What would you say to your ideal customer if you met him/her in the elevator in the break of a conference?
How would you attract his/her attention in just one minute?

A consciously built up pitch is a successful selling technique that consists of conveying succinct, consistent and interesting information to our customers or our audience.

Time needed to review this content: 30 MIN
Pitching is a widely used term in the „start-up” world, and it is mainly addresses to a customer, an investor or anyone important to the business. It is a brief, persuasive speech that is meant to spark interest in a project or products and to maintain interest with a view to further negotiations.
It was started in the USA, but nowadays pitch contests have been organised all over the world. It is also called “elevator pitch” (elevator speech or elevator statement) as – in extreme cases – it is so short that it can be delivered during an elevator ride.

In start-up environment pitches are 1 to 5 minutes long speeches, that in just a few sentences summarizes the most important qualities of a product, service, project, company or job seeker. An effective pitch must be well crafted before being presented.
This is a possible structure of an efficient pitch:




1. Short introduction
In the very first sentence you must clearly define what you (your company) does. This one sentence has to be formulated in a way that raises the audience’s interest in your story. Information provided in this introduction has to be authentic, valid and crucial. It cannot be longer than 2-3 sentences.

2. Presenting the opportunity or challenge (problem)
The challenge has to be real and easy to understand. It is important that the audience can identify themselves with the challenge, that they can have the feeling that they had already had problems and concerns of this type.

3. Your solution
Presenting how the previously describe challenge or problem is being addressed by your solution, how will the the customer, the audience benefit from this solution. The advantages can be focused on three areas: saving time, increasing incomes, increasing enjoyment. Typically a solution can be efficient in just one (or rarely 2) of these areas. If we want to apply our solution in all these three areas that can make our offer less credible.

4. The size and characteristics of the market and the advantages that you offer
When you present your idea to an investor, one of the most frequently asked questions will be: Is there a market for this? You can define the size of the market using two methodologies: top-down or bottom-up. Top-down means using a broad market size figure and determines the percentage that the target market represents and our share of it. The other method is generalizing a specific market data, market statistics to the whole market. Better if we use both methodologies and arrive to similar conclusions. Besides the size of the market it is useful to consider the growth of the market too. Your presumptions will be based on the advantages offered by you.

5. Your business model
Your business model should give an answer to how your business will make money. Your business model describes what values we produces for our customers, how these values get to our customers and how much and in what ways will they pay for it. The business model is a compulsory part of a pitch presented to an investor. If you present to your customers, you will present only parts of it.

6. Your competitive edge
You must know your competitors and the solutions offered by them. Typically there is no project that would not have any competitors, so if you state that you do not have any competitors, that suggests that you do not know the market. Even if you do not have direct competitors, the problems of your future customers might have been addressed by some indirect competitors. The competitive edge can be found not only in the product of service but also in the way it is delivered or in the team that provides it. It should always be real, relevant and valid.

7. Your market entry strategy
This is a crucial part of a pitch presented to an investor. If you already have a high number of users/customers, you can talk about this. If not, you will have to present the strategy you will use to conquer the market. If you have any professional partners it is worth presenting them as well in this part.

8. Your team
It is hard to defend the standpoint that you can deal with every aspect alone. Therefore, it is important to present your team that will provide the presented solution. If you have any relevant experience in the field that is important to emphasize. If there are shortfall areas it is worth mentioning it, that will make your pitch more credible, it will suggest that you know your limits too

9. Finance
If you present to investors, in this part you will talk about needs for capital, funding model, and about existing incomes (if you already have some). If you have not yet made a single euro income, it is better not to talk about 5-years plans, that could make even a trustworthy team look unserious. If your pitch aims selling, here you should talk about payment model and pricing.

10. Call To Action
Even before getting to the summery you should tell the main message, the aim of your presentation. You should always be very clear about the goals of your project. You should not have more than two messages, but better to have just one. Expect only specific and reachable action from your audience. Like: Subscribe … ! Buy …! Invest …!

The summary repeats in other words what you already said in the introduction. It should not be longer than 2-3 sentences. As a closing point, you can repeat the call to action in one short, empathetic sentence. 

When palling a pitch, you can use the NABC model too. Models in general are useful as they help you give a structure, a frame to what you want to express. The NABC model is a good tool to make the advantages and values of your solution explain clearly to your audience.
The NABC model means giving answers (first of all for yourself) to the following set of questions that help you frame your ideas: 

N (Need) - Who needs my solution? Do they know that they need it? Do you really understand their needs? How big is this need?
A (Approach) – What is my approach, my solution? What is unique in my solution? How does my solution meet the needs of the consumers?
B (Benefit) – What is the specific benefit that my solution offers? Is this solution suitable to save time or money of the customer?
C (Competition) – Who are my competitors? Why is my solution better than the ones offered by my competitors?

When planning you pitch the so-called 10-20-30 rules, suggested by Guy Kawasaki can be of help. This very simple rule says that a presentation cannot have more than 10 slides, cannot be longer than 20 minutes and cannot use a font size smaller than 30 point. But be aware that time frame for a pitch is usually shorter than 20 minutes!

It is important that the slides of a presentation always support the personal message and they are not the primary and unique source of information for the audience. In case of a pitch YOU ARE the primary source of information. The audience must pay attention to what you are saying, and not to what is written on the slides. You have to get their attention.

Practical advise from Alison Chadwick Talent Director at the AMV Group

In this useful talk, Julian Treasure demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.


Follow the next 10 tips to be sure that you make your audience’s eyes glow:

1. Make in impact at the very start! – (Instead of just introducing yourself) start with a very strong statement about your solution.
2. Finish your presentation earlier. Exceeding the given time frame means that you have not prepared enough. Practice before presenting to make sure you can respect the time frame.
3. Be entertaining! – As you are standing on the stage, you have to be entertaining. Practicing helps to show self-confidence. You want to save the world, don’t you?
4. Be straight! – The pitch is short, you do not have time to waffle. Talk about your solution, its advantages and how you will make your audience’s life easier.
5. Share a good story! – Tall a story that can engage people. A story will make your presentation entertaining and easy to remember.
6. Act like Tony Stark! – The pitch is a genre that does not allow you to be shy. “When you pitch, pitch like an American!”
7. Address your audience, not the walls! – The slides are meant to your audience not to you. Practice enough so you do not have to “peek”
8. Show images, not text! – Use limited text. It is more important what you say than what is written on the slides. Images should support your pitch in terms of mood, feelings, interpretation.
9. Demo of your product: software NO, hardware YES! – Demo of a software takes too much time to present. Use it only if there is no other way to present what it is about. But if you have a gadget that can seduce your audience.
10. Make sure that everyone can understand your pitch!


In our fast and quickly changing world time has great value. Entreprenuers have a very short time available to convince their customers or investors about the advantages of their solutions. Pitching is a good solution in this respect: it meas giving a short, conscise presentation to the chosen target group. It might seem easy to tak about our idea in 1-3-5 minutes, but if you want to present a very good and convincing pitch you have to invest several days in preparing and practising the presentation of your pitch.


Can you write a firts question that will raise the interest of your audience?
Use the NABC model to write a pitch of your products or service!
Find a story related to your idea that engages and entertains your audience!


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