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More than 50% of participants join startup weekend to bring their idea of the next big thing to life. If you are part of those 50% and you want to take your idea to next level, first thing you’ll have to do is to learn how to pitch like a Rockstar.

You’ll have 60 seconds before our facilitator will take the microphone from your hand or even Rugby tackle you off the stage. These 60 seconds sounds like a lot but once you take that stage, the clock ticks 10 times faster. Here are some essential tips for your elevator pitch. Your pitch should consist of these main elements: Who are you, what’s the Problem,  what’s your solution/idea, who do you need to complete your team?

Now distribute some time slots to these elements. Let’s start with easy one first.

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Who are you?  

Come up with a one liner of who you are. You don’t have enough time to tell your whole background story. This one liner should include your name and what do you do. Take a pen and paper and write this down. Now add some humour to it to make your audience remember who you are. For example, I usually say “Hi, I’m Khizar. Developer by profession and crazy by nature”. This kind of sentence will generate laughter around the room and will also draw your audience’s attention to what you’re going to say next. This will only take you less than 5 seconds if you execute it well.

The Problem?

This part is as important as your idea. Describe the problem that you’re trying to solve. If you don’t have a problem to solve, you might lose interest from other participants. Think about what problem you’re trying to solve and write it on paper. Narrow it down to 3-5 sentences. Boom! you have it. practice to execute the description to your problem in under 20 seconds.

The Solution or The Idea?

This is the part everyone is waiting for and this is the part everyone will remember the most from your pitch so start it with a bang. Present it to your audience like it is the next big thing. I once heard someone pitch “I want to launch a Rocket”. a bit ambitious but tell me, would you forget that pitch easily? So once again write down your idea on paper and narrow it down to 2-3 sentences. Now add an explosive element to it that everyone will remember. Practice to execute it under 25 seconds.

Who do you need?

You’re pitching at the startup weekend podium so you need to attract team members to get your idea off the ground. This is also an important part so don’t forget it. Just like the introduction, keep it a one liner with an element of enthusiasm to it. For example “I need developers, designers and dreamers like me to make it possible”. Not bad is it? Keep it under 5 seconds as well.

Now combine the whole pitch and try to execute it under 50 seconds. What do you need another 10 seconds for? Once you pitch your pitch will be on a voting ballot which will also have a number on it. So use those 10 seconds to say out loud your pitch number. Something simple like “I’m pitch number 22 and will be looking forward to your love in form of votes, Cheers”.

Practice makes perfect, so practice your pitch in front of a mirror, friends or even your dog to make it perfect.

Khizar Naeem