Last year I watched a seminar given by public speaking coach Patricia Fripp.
In it, she repeated the phrase, "We speak to be remembered and repeated" over and over again.
And I think she's right. We do speak to be remembered and repeated. After you speak with an investor, or a prospective customer, or an employee, would you like them to immediately forget what you told them? Or would you like them to clearly remember what you said, spread the word about you, and take whatever desired actions you asked them to do. Clearly, you want the latter.
Unfortunately, few entrepreneurs speak to be remembered and repeated. Rather, most have so much to say that they rant uncontrollably.
I get this all the time. Whenever I'm at a party and an entrepreneur finds out what I do for a living, he or she starts to talk my ear off about their idea.
Now, I love what I do and I love listening to and helping entrepreneurs. But what I don't love it when 100 words can be replaced with 10, or a 5-minute company description can be shortened down to 30 seconds.
The key is this; you MUST spend however long it takes to create a concise, easy-to-remember elevator pitch for your company. If not, it's going to cost you dearly. You will turn off investors, partners, customers, and employees among others.
This is because in today's fast paced environment, no one's going to invest the time to listen to your full presentation or read your full business plan if they don't get it right away.
Here are two exercises I recently developed to help you create an elevator pitch that others can "remember" and "repeat":
1. Tell your pitch to a child and then have them repeat it back to you. One of my Crowdfunding clients read his originally highly complex business summary to his 6-year old granddaughter. The 6-year old repeated back a concise summary that anyone in the world can immediately understand. We went with the 6-year old version.
2. Try to develop a 30-second television spot. I recently worked on a 30-second television spot where I tried to explain who I am, what I was offering, and what I wanted the audience to do next. In doing this I put together 10 extremely brief PowerPoint slides. I then read the slides aloud and timed it. It took 53 seconds. Getting it down to 30 seconds was serious work. But the result was a really concise message.
Try doing the same thing. Put together a draft 30-second commercial. What would you want your audience to learn? To remember? To repeat? And to do after watching your commercial? If you can achieve this in 30-seconds it will help with every aspect of your business. And start teaching you to be more concise, more memorable and more impactful.