Writing a Cocktail Pitch

Writing a Cocktail Pitch That Peaks Their Curiosity

Last week, I mentioned getting really clear on what makes you spectacularly good at your job.

This week, I’m going to break down what I call a cocktail pitch.

Forget 30 seconds, this is 8-15 words—about the time it takes to shake someone’s hand. I like to treat it as a game. Your goal is to get the other person to look up and say “tell me more!”

  1. Step one. Start with your name.
  2. Maybe say what you do. Maybe not.
  3. I wouldn’t even identify your company—if they don’t know it, it eats up precious time. If they know it, it puts you in a slot like a piece of mail.
  4. Next, invent your hook. Pick one.
    1. This could be an unusual benefit.
    2. It could be something visual.
    3. It could just be something cool.

That’s it. The key is to be provocative without being a jerk:

  • I’m Matt Koerner. I use diamonds to make concrete shimmer like glass.
  • I’m Dani Nodelmann. I specialize in eliminating loose ends.
  • I’m Pinar Givenc. I get money for local companies—and they never have to pay it back.
  • I’m Chellise Michael. I take pictures that are like lemonade for the soul.
  • I’m DJ Gatsby. I put people’s customers in the mood.
  • I’m Andy Weltchek. I sue debt collectors. Oh wait…that’s a good one!

Simplicity is key. If you’re not sure about that, try it this way first. Then, try adding five other things. Which one’s more powerful?

Next week I’ll be talking about what to say when they ask you to tell them more. Thank you!

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