Strategic storytelling expert Kindra Hall’s four-step guide to a memorable 30-second startup pitch

If you had 30 seconds to pitch your startup how could you do it in way that left your listener begging to hear more?

Strategic storytelling expert Kindra Hall believes the elevator pitch “conundrum” of delivering just enough information to “create intrigue” can be tackled with the core tenets of a great story.

Writing in Inc, Hall says a 30-second pitch must have key ingredients to make it memorable: “actual characters” to spark interest; a “sense of wonder, intrigue or mystery”; and a lack of “utterly forgettable” facts or bits of information.

By using real characters such as a “friend who helped get it started” or a particular “customer you served”, the pitch will have a real person for listeners to be drawn to, Hall says.

“Characters make the story interesting — don’t leave them out of your pitch,” she says.

The final ingredient is having a “disconnect from the outcome”, she says.

“What if Jesus told the story of not hiding your light under a bushel and then asked listeners for a bulk order of candles?” says Hall.

“Or if Martin Luther King Junior told the world about the dream he had and then asked people to please leave their business cards in a bowl at the back of the Mall.

“Spend time developing a compelling story that becomes the beginning of a relationship versus a death-by-poorly-executed-pitch.”

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