Pitch Perfect

Ready, Set, 60-second pitch! keeping time

There are two ways that you can think about “pitching”:

  1. The most terrifying 60-seconds of your life
  2. The greatest opportunity to share your startup

Reading these two ways to think right now, option two is the obvious choice. So why do most people think of it like option one?

To answer this question, I’m going to ask you to think back to high school. Now, when you started high school, you were just you. For many of us, by the middle to end of high school, we had been given a label; we either let others define us or we defined ourselves a certain way. Defining ourselves in this way can give us a series of “if-then” scenarios.

  • If I’m a jock, then I can’t look smart
  • If I’m a nerd, then I’m not athletic
  • If I’m popular, then I must look perfect every day
  • If ___________, then _______________ (I’m sure you can fill in many many more blanks).

Thankfully today, the above “if then” scenarios don’t hold as true as they used to. So how does all this connect to 60-second pitches?


“Pitch” is just a label for the way you explain who you are and what you do. If we’re going to make our own “if-then” scenario for pitching, it might look a little bit like this:

  • If I’m told to pitch, then I must be perfect and say exactly the right thing.
  • If someone asks me about my business at a bar or networking event, then I should casually tell them about it and seek their advice or feedback


You see where I’m going with this? Both options above are the exact same action, just called something different!

Anxiety comes with labels; that’s a tried and true hypothesis that we’ve all probably encountered.

So what should we think about when we’re asked to, “pitch”, our ideas? Try these:

Try these:

I know, haha, but I couldn't resist!
I know, haha, but I couldn’t resist!
  • Share your excitement about your business
  • Give them an overview. You can share all the details afterward
  • Let the computer give people the long description. When you’re pitching, be genuine! People invest in people, so let them get to know you through your pitch.

If you have any questions or want me to review your pitch, just ask or post a video/audio file and we can even crowdsource pitch feedback!

For other pitch practice opportunities, try presenting at a 1 Million Cups event powered by the Kauffman Foundation. There’s probably one happening in your area!

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