How to massively improve your pitch in 10 seconds - please read before Xmas!
Use this simple test to validate your pitch while you are enjoying holiday season! The result will be the most honest feedback you can get and the best way to improve the stickiness of your key message.
So here goes…in the coming days you will be taking a couple days off and maybe, if COVID permits travel to see your family. Now obviously this is great down-time but also the chance to really test the effectiveness of your pitch…
However, this test does come with a certain element of risk so please sincerely promise while you are reading these lines that you wont fight with your folks because of whats coming next.
This is the part where you make the promise.
Ok. good. Let’s go.
So the method is rather simple but revealing. When you meet your parents and grandparents and even better distant relatives and old friends you will all engage in small talk and the usual banter, but make sure to ask them one straight forward question: “What do I do?”
Now you are thinking — hang on, this is what I am usually asked! I know, I know!
Step 1: Find out what stuck! Or: Unaided Awareness
But here is the thing: these people are your friends and family, you mean the world to them (in most cases) and they take great interest in you. Certainly more than random people listening to your pitch for the first time… and they will certainly have heard something in the last weeks or months either from you directly or realtives on what you do…so time to find out what sticks!
Think of it this way: your Grandparents have most certainly heard from you before what you do as well as your other folks — but try and find out what stuck!
In branding we call this unaided awareness and its a method to test how well a brand or product is known without any help — so unaided. If you want to know more, you will find a lot on this on the Internet, no need to go into this here.
If the answer is “Oh you are the founder of Shazam and Shazam recognizes music” (disclaimer: I’m not) and Uncle Bob over there can’t live without it you are on the right track! Congratulations, your pitch and your story work and you can indulge in the festive season.
However, if the answer is “Oh, you do something with the Internet” you know you have your work cut out.
But here is the thing: don’t be upset! You need to remember that communication is not about what you say but rather about what people understand. If your loved ones cant recall what you do, its your mistake (or opportunity), not theirs! So no fighting and sulking!
Instead, just deliver your One-Liner again and tell them again what you do! “No worries Uncle Bob, I’m the founder of Shazam and Shazam recognizes music” and then see what happens…Uncle Bob might ask you a couple of questions but don’t stay on topic for too long and just enjoy your time. Try the same thing with Aunt Mildred and Grandma (if you need a refresher on pitching, take a look here).
Step 2: Find out what stuck short term! Or: Aided Awareness
Now here is the trick: about 1 hour later, once you have changed the topic and have done something else, go back to Uncle Bob and simply ask him: “Uncle Bob, what is it that I do?”
If he replies “You are the founder of Shazam and Shazam recognizes music” then this is great news, however, if he doesnt, we can be sure that your One-Liner doesnt work. At least for Uncle Bob. Repeat with Aunt Mildred and Grandma. If they also can’t recall what you do after little more than an hour of you telling them you can be sure that your One-Liner simply doesn’t work.
In branding this step is called aided awareness — my method is very closely related to this step so please feel free to follow up on aided brand awarenss if you want to know more on this.
Step 3: Take note what stuck! Or: Do you have a key message?
Now what? Take note of what they recalled and see what was sticky and what wasn’t. I’m pretty sure that the maximum of what they recalled will be one key message as in like “You are the founder of X and X does Y.”
In 99% of the cases this will be the maximum result and that would be amazing! Now if you see similarities in the answers you are doing really well, so congratulations. If you are not, don’t worry but rather try and cut down the clutter to one key message. Analyse the answers on take it from there.
I’m going to follow up on this in the coming weeks how to create a good One-Liner but I can allready give you one simple bit of advice: keep it simple. Super simple. And reduce the information to one key element. Think of it: Shazam recognizes music. Sure, Shazam does much for, but this is the core bit of information.
So to summarize: use the holiday season to get honest feedback from your loved ones but remember: its not them, but you. And sure, I understand that results can vary depending on what you do. Of course, if you are doing a super fancy NFT project in the Metaverse your might want to expect a little less but still, you get the idea! Still: you need on simple key message that sticks. I call this a One-Liner.
Thank you very much for reading this…in fact, if you found this helpful and want me to create more content around pitching and public speaking, please take a second and follow me here on medium or clap on this article. Or both … this really helps me a lot!
And if you want to know more about me: www.daniel-cronin.com