How to craft a one liner Pitch

In today’s world of multiple communication channels and light speed transactions and decisions, the ability to pitch your startup in one sentence is critical.  This is all the more important when trying to get on the radar of a distracted Venture Capitalist.

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs are so immersed in the minutiae of their business, that they forget the importance of communicating clearly and simply to an audience who is being exposed to their idea for the first time.

A decade ago I hired global ad agency M & C Saatchi to help a startup I was advising. Their philosophy is ‘Brutal Simplicity of Thought’ and is clearly a key to their success. Their rationale, backed by science, is that simple ideas enter the brain easier and stay there longer.

A concise one liner is easier to remember and easier to share with others.

There are two approaches to pitching your startup in one sentence. The first is to create a ‘high concept pitch’. Alien was pitched to studio executives as ‘Jaws in Space’. As is true of all ‘less is more’ approaches, creating an effective and impactful high concept pitch takes time but can be worth the effort.

A word of caution…unless your high concept pitch explains your business in a clear and compelling way, don’t use this technique.  Test it on people who nothing about your business and take careful note of their reactions. The objective is to bring simplicity and clarity to your pitch rather than coming over as a smart ass.

An alternative approach is to use the following formula:

My company  [company name]

Has developed / is developing [product / service]

That solves the problem [define problem]

For [target market]

So an example might be

Acme has developed an app that delivers a light electric shock via a smart phone, that solves the problem of investor attention disorder, faced by entrepreneurs raising capital.

Whichever approach you use, if you want to be heard, understood and remembered, make sure that an effective one sentence pitch forms part of your pitching arsenal.

Martin is the author of ‘Here’s the Pitch‘ available now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and all leading booksellers

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About Martin

Martin is the founder of San Francisco based Pitch Clinic. Over the past 25 years he has advised, coached and worked with Senior Executives, Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists, Angels, Startup Founders, Attorneys, Judges, Politicians and other high achievers. Martin works with his clients to increase their Performance, Productivity and Presence. He also helps them create and deliver high impact presentations, whether they are delivering an important keynote address, raising venture capital or seeking a senior position in a company or public body. A former award winning attorney, Martin is the creator of 3XP Performance Coaching and and author of 'Here's the Pitch - How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win Clients' published by Wiley. During his career at the Bar, Martin was consistently rated by the world’s leading legal directories as a ‘leader in his field’. He is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and expert in body language and performance psychology.

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