The key to a good pitch: be human

I’ll admit it, when SlingRide started at JOLT we had a rambling, frenetic, and rapid fire pitch that resembled those old micromachine toy commercials from the 80s. Unless you were laser focused on us, you would never walk away understanding what we do or what our vision was. By the time we were done, we saw that people’s eyes glazed over and were so overwhelmed, they wouldn’t know where to start to engage with us. We’re passionate about what we do, and so we wanted to make sure the other person knew the full extent of our vision.

The JOLT cohort met Paul Singh last week (mentor at 500 Startups) and his advice was, “just be a human.” What he means by this is that the other person is just a person, and just because you’re pitching doesn’t change that. Further, they’re looking at you as a human too, so just act like one. We’ve done three things to be human:

Say your pitch at the same speed that you’d speak to your mother. Progressively disclose your vision one paragraph at a time. At the end of each paragraph, leave something hanging so that there’s a natural next question the other person should ask.

Now, this is typically what we experience:

Us: “At SlingRide, we’re building the world’s safest, and most civilized ride sharing network.”

Them: (subtle laughter at our use of the word ‘civilized’) “What makes it more civilized than other ridesharing networks?”

Aha! We have them hooked!