LIMA — If people meet opportunity in an elevator, or anywhere, it’s good to be prepared.
That’s why Tammy Schakett, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University, offered the Lima Noon Optimist Club some tips on how to create an “elevator pitch” at the group’s meeting on Wednesday.
The pitch is a communication, sales and networking tool that involves pitching ideas, people, companies and more to people in under 60 seconds, Schakett said.
“You want to have down pat a description of your business you can present in 60 seconds or less,” Schakett said.
She teaches her entrepreneurship students how to do them each semester in her class, and then they compete in teams for the best pitch.
Schackett condensed her class presentation down to about 20 minutes for the optimist club, outlining how to write a pitch and what should be in it.
“People are looking for different things, so how are you going to brand yourself as an individual?” she said. “Concentrate on what you’re good at, what are your core competencies, what makes you better than the competition?”
It’s also important for people to memorize the pitch, without sounding too robotic and practiced, she said.
“Know it in your heart, know what you’re going to say so you’re not stumbling,” Schakett said. “If you’re passionate about your message, it will flow naturally. You’ve got to come across as passionate about what your message is.”
Schakett shared about some personal experiences where she’s met someone and been left wondering exactly what it is they do for a living. She warned the attendees not to do that, and to leave out any technical jargon in the pitch.
“You want to start out with something that’s going to catch their attention,” she said.
The parts of an elevator pitch are the problem statement, value proposition, target market, competition, team, financials, milestones and “the ask,” she said.
A good pitch has about six to eight strong, short and powerful sentences that relate to each other, she said.
“Practice, practice, practice, practice,” Schakett said at the end, with the hope that she instilled in the attendees a sense of confidence in their ability to sell themselves or their business.
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.