How to Pitch a Business – (or yourself): Top Tips from an Expert

May 28, 2014 at 10:45 am 3 comments

An entrepreneur’s worst nightmare is that people drool when they tell someone about their business. (But, not in a good way. More like a catatonic way.)

That is sooooo booooring

That is sooooo booooring

Or, that they share something they consider so interesting about their business and – in return – get the “doe in headlights” look.


Pitching, the Right Way.

In the NFIB YEF Entrepreneur in the Classroom, one of the key steps in Module 2 is Pitching Your Business Idea. But, how can we make that pitch the most interesting and effective possible?

Here are top tips from a globally-known “Intrigue Expert” Sam Horn.

Sam’s Rules for The Perfect Pitch

  1. Can they repeat it? (dot dot dot…to someone else?)
  2. Can they see it? (When we’re just using technical terms, they can’t see it.)
  3. Can they remember it? (When it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.)
  4. Can they relate to it? (“How does this apply to me?”)
  5. Do they respect it? (Is it credible? What are the results delivered?)
  6. Do they want it? (Does it match a need they have?)



We humbly submitted the author’s research venture: The Hot Mommas Project, as a guinea pig to serve as an example. 

Starting 10 word pitch (#FAIL)

 Award-winning program measurably increasing self-confidence in women & girls.”


Revised 10-word pitch (using Sam’s process, and after Sam’s feedback)

“Got women and girls in your life? We increase their confidence, courage, and clout.”

Analysis: By starting with a question – one of Sam’s top tips EVER – we bring the “pitchee” in, and help them relate…By consolidating our value into three alliterative words, we increase the ability to remember and repeat. Will they want it? Be sure that your value comes through in a credible manner.

See detail on Sam’s feedback and analysis HERE.

The Icing… Examples: The Deal Sealer

Sam bonus information: After your pitch, whether it’s on your website or said in person, the next click or sentence needs to demonstrate EXAMPLES.

In other words, after your pitch ends, start right in with “For example.”

Why”Pitching” is Important

Are you missing the mark with your words? 9 out 10 times, people are NOT taking away what you would like about your business. They may feel more like this, in fact:


To make sure people are getting the message you want, and do not feel they are being carted off to an alien planet, do the exercises below.


The Bottom Line

Our decision to focus on the words that come out of our mouths to describe our businesses, or give a presentation, is often THE difference between a deal maker or deal breaker.



1. Do a pitch of an idea (any idea!) and then ask people what they remember.

Did people remember what you wanted them to? Why or why not?

(Note: Sam has a proprietary process for doing this during her exclusive learning sessions via her Intrigue Agency.) 

2. Watch this video with Sam Horn at TEDx – what are your top one to three takeaways?

3. Complete the Mind Mapping and Pitch exercise in EITC Module 2. Was your pitch strengthened by keeping in mind the tools and tips from Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert?

More from EITC (Entrepreneur in the Classroom)

More Information The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. Just register for full access to the Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum. Click here for more.

Related links

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Like NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Facebook

Follow EITC curriculum author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter

Entry filed under: Business exercises, Communication, Curriculum, Educators, Entrepreneur, Teaching tools, Young Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Tags: , , , , .

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Lemonade? Thank you, Entrepreneurship Educators

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ryan  |  May 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    A good way to find a short pitch people will remember is to see how your friends and journalist describe your product. They’ll often describe it in ways you’ve never considered or if its off-base at least you will have an idea of how to correct it.


    • 2. kathykormanfrey  |  May 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Ryan….We like! Such a GOOD POINT. There are many entrepreneurs who lose objectivity and may not – as you have pointed out – see their business the way others do. Perhaps someone close to you has the perfect description for your pitch. Thanks Ryan.

  • 3.  |  September 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this good piece of writing.


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