45 Seconds to a Killer Pitch

People tell their own bio story like they are reading the ingredients of a Cheerios™ box. When we do the “round the table” intro at a meeting hardly any one makes an impression. The act of listing name/title/length of service is a mindless droning that is absolutely enervating. I think that this moment is a lost opportunity. Your job is not to blend in- it’s to stand out as someone who brings value and uniqueness to the conversation. How to do this:

Formula

  1. Name and title
  2. Years in the industry, with the company
  3. 2-3 big hits
  4. Your contribution to the “big solution”

I think that this is best illustrated in a series of examples:

Example #1 – Joe
Hi, I’m Joe Williams, COO of XYZ corporation. I’ve been in logistics for 20 years, 10 of those with the top 3 mainline carriers and 10 in the 3PL and 4PL consulting business, the last five with XYZ. A couple of the highlights have been re-building the international supply chain management transportation for Wal-Mart saving a half-billion dollars over 4 years and the re-organization of the expedited services of PDQ for a market share double over 3 years. I’m here to cover our 19% expense trim strategy on your urgent shipments.

Example #2 – Sue
Hi, I’m Sue Anderson, Senior Account Executive of Acme Corporation. I’ve been in strategic account development for 15 years in the IT services industry. All of those have been with Acme focusing on the enterprise platform deployment area of the business. A few of the exciting opportunities have included securing and implementing the 10 year SLA for the state of Indiana for all of their enterprise systems – that was a billion dollar plus contract. Also, our recent implementation of the national SAP standardized platform for the rolled-up assets of Very Big Corp has been very rewarding. Today I’ll be addressing our approach to rapid transition and performance accountability with your company in the installation of the RIS program.

Example #3 – Bill
Hi, I’m Bill Johnson, CFO of Pinnacle Performance. I’ve been on the growth team for 5 companies in the past 20 years focusing on strategic alliances and business case dynamics for account growth. At Pinnacle, my work has focused on the development of our 38 international distribution partners and the quadrupling of the volume of that network. My part of today’s conversation will focus on the specific way we’ll leverage 23 of those partners for doubling your revenue volume in your key product segments.

In each of the examples, the character is providing a series of anchoring events that gives them credibility in the conversation. This is not an exhaustive list, rather it is a suggestive list. The audience gets a sense that this person makes a measurable difference and probably has more of a story to tell. Their history, including that from other companies, is included to transfer the credibility of their personal resume to the resume of the presenting company. Finally, there is a forecasting of how all of this will be brought to bear in the presentation, creating a sense of anticipation.

These bios are meant to intrigue, anchor and suggest. Less than 45-60 seconds, you know why you are listening to each person.

Do this exercise with each of your people so that their own bio is not an afterthought, but a leveraged part of the presentation.