The importance of a Lean Canvas and the 60 second pitch – how to learn from a Pro (part 2)

A few weeks later, and this time calling in from Ohio, Illinois, Natasia Malaihollo, gave her second workshop: The 60 Second Pitch (also known as The Elevator Pitch) on Saturday 30th October 2020. Most of the participants had also attended her first workshop where she went through the steps of creating a business modelling tool called Lean Canvas.

Although shorter in duration, it was still packed with useful advice, tips and anecdotes. Like the one where Natasia confessed to her audience that when she first started her business Wyzerr, she was pretty bad at speaking in public. “However, the more you do it, the better you become and the more comfortable you are talking about your company”, she said.

Pitch competitions are extremely popular in the USA as they are a good way to introduce your product/idea/company to potential investors and a wider public. She said that she was able to pitch Wyzerr, because she was able to figure out how to pitch well and became an expert at building 60 Second Pitches. In fact, she had won so many pitch competitions, that other entrepreneurs retreated when they heard that she was pitching. Here was a real Pro, who was sharing her secrets!

Natasia explained that once you worked out your Lean Canvas, you could use its important points to create a 60 Second Pitch, that’s interesting; clear, concise and specific and should leave people wanting to know more about your company or idea. Breaking it down into 60 seconds (the time you spent in an elevator to get to another floor), you first have what is called the Hook – 10 seconds to give an example or statistic to get the attention. Followed by 15 seconds of Mentioning the Problem and then 25 seconds of Revealing the Solution. The last 10 seconds is the Ask – what are the next steps and what do you need from the person.

A good 60 Second Pitch, should leave you wanting to know more about the business and whether it’s good enough to hook a potential investor, willing to invest in your company. It’s crucial that you get down to very specific points and convey your pitch in a well-mannered way, so those listening to your pitch can convey it to others.

She continued by saying that everyone should be good at self-promotion. “In fact, every conversation you have should lead to another conversation, forcing the other person to introduce you to yet another person in their network. Owe it to your business to constantly pitch your company, even when people get bored of you”, she said. “Use your family and friends to practice and ask for their feedback.”

Towards the end, there was a short session where participants could volunteer to pitch their ideas/company. As there wasn’t enough time left to hear everyone’s pitch (and as it was done on the hoof), Natasia announced that she would organise a pitch competition amongst the participants that were attending her workshop that day. They were encouraged to write and practice their pitches and there would be an undisclosed prize for the winner.

Unfortunately, the YouTube session encountered some technical problems, but those interested in the details of the 60 Second Pitch can have a look at the attached document.