20 Tips For Mastering The Art Of The 60-Second Company Story

Dec 15, 2023, 08:15am EST

The ability to convey your company's essence and mission in 60 seconds or less is a skill that can make or break your success. The art of crafting a concise and compelling company story becomes invaluable when you only have a minute to capture someone's attention.

To help entrepreneurs do this effectively, 20 Forbes Business Council members share their best tips for captivating audiences, convey a brand's unique identity and leave a lasting impression in those critical first moments of engagement. Here's how they recommend condensing your narrative without sacrificing its impact.

1. Understand What Makes Your Company 'Tick'

Spend as much time (with as much rigor at play) gaining clarity about not just your company, but also understanding what makes it really tick. What is at the core of the business or is central to it? Then, figure out what aspect of it will appeal to your target group the most effectively and how to convey that aspect in a particular manner. This makes it really easy to articulate the company's story in as little time as possible. - Xavier Prabhu, PRHUB

2. Know Your Target Audience

When you're trying to speak to everyone, you run the risk of not resonating with anyone. So, don't be afraid to be specific—know your target audience, their pain points and the problem your company solves. You can craft your message from there and edit, edit, edit until you've got your pitch. - Erica Jain, Healthie

3. Avoid Sharing The Whole Story

Leave them wanting more. Everyone knows that a good story takes longer than 60 seconds to tell, but if you can focus on getting them hooked in those first 60 seconds, there’s a good chance you’ll get more time to tell your story. Don’t get too caught up in trying to cram everything into your elevator pitch. Instead, think about what will spark follow-up questions and curiosity. - Howard Makler, Innovation Refunds

4. Get To The Heart Of Your Story

When it comes to sharing your company's tale in under a minute, my go-to advice is simple: Dive into the heart of your story. Bring out the values that drive your team, the passion fueling your journey and the distinct issue your company tackles. Spin a narrative that tugs at the heartstrings with the aim of creating a memorable impact on everyone who listens. - Linda Obi, Afrihealth Ltd

5. Ensure Your Purpose Is Reflected In Your Brand

Your purpose as a founder needs to be reflected in the brand and company you have created. When those two are aligned, not only does the story become crystal clear, but it also grips the listener on a different level. If it is hard work creating the 60-second pitch, something does not align yet. - Barbara Wittmann, IT Zeitgeist LLC

6. Share Your Core Beliefs And Values

Discussing my core beliefs and values has always been a successful approach. I incorporate these principles into my elevator pitch, skillfully linking the conclusion back to the inherent essence of the brand or company DNA. This strategic alignment not only strengthens the impact of the narrative, but also emphasizes a deep connection between personal convictions and organizational identity. - Dr. Nimish G. Patel, HBS Investment Group

7. Be Authentic And Transparent

Be authentic and transparent about your intention while leading with your “why” and ending with your “how.’ People don’t remember what you say but they will remember how you say it. - Ariya Malek, Educational Awakening Center

8. Take Time To Explain Unclear Parts Of Your Story

Keep the obvious parts short and use your time to explain the nonobvious parts. What these parts are will depend on your specific business. For example, some businesses don't need to spend a lot of time pitching their market size because everyone already knows the market is huge (e.g., food, health care, education, etc.). - Yanick Steinbeck,

9. Focus On The Facts

Stick to the facts and be authentic! It is very easy for someone to get engaged if the story is coming from an authentic place as opposed to someone trying to sell their company to someone. I also believe that if you stick to the facts, it will be easier to condense years of blood, sweat and tears of how and why an organization is the way it is in 60 seconds. - Jordan DeBrincat Mintzas, Altree Developments

10. Condense Your Key Benefits

Condense your key benefits concisely. Do it with a story by crafting a narrative that evokes tangible emotions. Don’t worry; 60 seconds is enough if you explain to them like they are fifth graders. - Nikola Minkov, Serpact

11. Focus On A Relatable Core Message

To convey your company's story in 60 seconds, focus on a relatable core message. Emphasize unique value and problem-solving and use a compelling narrative delivered with a passion for a lasting impression. - Shashidhar Reddy Keshireddy, CEPTUA IT INC

12. Remember Why You Started The Business

I would advise people to not forget your purpose or why you started the business in the first place. If you can be clear on who and what you are and speak from the heart, it is a lot easier to tell your story. Don’t try and be everything to everyone; instead, know your purpose. - Cathleen Anthony, LifeSpring Home Nutrition

13. Articulate The Problem Your Company Solves

The first step has to be connecting emotionally to the brand to figure out the best way to share its story. Understand your audience in order to articulate the problem your company solves. Craft a concise narrative by finding a compelling story with an actionable takeaway. Be clear and leave your audience with no questions to ask. - Archer Chiang, Giftpack

14. Identify A Compelling Story Element That Resonates

Start by defining your target audience—potential investors, customers or partners. Once you know your audience, identify the single most compelling element of your story that will resonate with them. Craft your narrative around this core hook in plain, conversational language. Share just enough context to make your key point tangible and memorable. Leave your audience eager to engage further. - Chirali Jain, ByDesign

15. Ensure Your Story Evokes Empathy

Be authentic and ensure that the story resonates and invokes empathy by answering the following questions: What do you do? What problem do you solve? How do you help customers in a unique way? Clarify the help you need. Closely knitting the answers to the above questions combined with authenticity and empathy as core values will be a key tip I suggest for crafting a 60-second story. - Venkat Rao, Pitney Bowes

16. Focus On Key Company Aspects

Focus on the key aspects of your company, inclusing why you exist, the problem you solve, how you do it and your unique advantages. Condense and convey this essence succinctly in a 60-second narrative to engage your audience and make an impression. Your story should be clear, easily understandable and substantive to capture your audience's interest and leave a lasting impact. - Jekaterina Beljankova, WALLACE s.r.o

17. Start With The Full Story

I would suggest starting with the full story. Then cut half the words, then again and again until you hit 60 seconds. That way, you are starting with the whole concept first rather than potentially cutting important information by worrying about the length of time you have. - Gary Romano, Civitas Strategies

18. Make It Personal

Nowadays, someone might say, "Ask ChatGPT." While that's going to be more and more common, it's important that you are telling your story, not a generalization. People care when it's personal and when it means something to you. So yes, feel free to brainstorm with AI, but know deep down the "why" and how to express it as a human. Avoid jargon and cliches and be concise. - Carl Holden, Zellus Marketing

19. Tell A Story That Comes From The Heart

While there are many variations to telling your company story in 60 seconds or less, they are all based on problem, solution and opportunity. So, my No. 1 tip to any entrepreneur would be to tell an authentic, honest story that comes from the heart, and master the storytelling to drive spontaneity and the ability to nuance the story around the audience. - Augustine Hong, Alexandria Capital | A Hightower Company

20. Share A Problem You Solve For Clients

Focus less on what you do and more on the problems of your ideal clients. People aren't concerned with what you do, they are concerned with their problems. Instead of giving generic facts and benefits, give a problem you solve for clients. This will pique their interest and make them willing to listen for another 60 seconds! - Liz Haberberger, Dale Carnegie Missouri

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