What to Say in Your 1, 5, 10, or 20 Minute Pitch (+ Tips From Successful Entrepreneurs!)

Entrepreneurs need to understand that timing is everything when it comes time for a pitch. Whether you’re presenting at the boardroom, on TechCrunch Disrupt or pitching investors over drinks, there are important things to consider in order to successfully make your mark and sell your company as quickly as possible.

Business pitches can be a difficult thing to do, but they are crucial for entrepreneurs. This article will give you some examples of what to say in your 1 minute pitch and tips from successful entrepreneurs. Read more in detail here: 1 minute pitch examples.


The amount of time you have to make an investor pitch will have a significant influence on how and what you do and say.

You’ll approach it differently if you’re delivering a five-minute presentation followed by a Q&A than if you’re doing a one-minute presentation!

So, how do you decide what to include in such a little pitch? How about a 20-minute elevator pitch? We’ve got your back. I’ll go through the following topics in this article:

  • What should a one-minute, five-minute, ten-minute, and twenty-minute pitch contain?
  • Entrepreneurial advice from those who have successfully pitched their enterprises for finance

The one-minute elevator pitch

-you have to know what the problem

This extremely short time frame is a touch brutal—you must be precise and concise—but if you’re anxious about speaking in front of a group, there is one major advantage: it is over soon. The challenge, of course, is to make the best use of the time available.

Consider a one-minute presentation to be the beating heart of your company: What issue does your company solve? It’s crucial to exude confidence and provide the clearest, most succinct description of your product or service.

After proposing an incubator, Jackie Wu won financing for Rook, a flying security camera. “The most important thing is to understand the issue you’re tackling and how your product/service will solve it,” Jackie explains. That was something we made very clear to the investors. “That’s the one-minute elevator pitch.”

The five-minute elevator speech

You may start branching out from your primary topic in a five-minute pitch. You’ll address the issue your company solves and how you plan to solve it, but you may also include specifics like your competitive edge and why your team is the best for the task.

A winning five-minute pitch from a pitch competition is featured on Forbes. Avoid exaggerated financial estimates (you’ll come out as a novice), and always copy edit your presentation deck, according to the victorious entrepreneur. In such a significant event, a mistake or misspelling sends the message to investors that you aren’t detail-oriented, which isn’t the message you want to portray.

Download the free Investor Pitch Deck Template Kit today!

The 10-minute elevator pitch

Caroline Cummings was able to get almost a million dollars in angel funding. She’s simplified the process into a set of achievable takeaways to help entrepreneurs succeed with fundraising, and she’s even come up with a wonderful framework for a 10-minute presentation.

Caroline recommends the following format for your pitch:

Practice making a slick and professional pitch. Whether you utilize a pitch deck or not, you should have a good idea of what you’ll say and how you’ll say it.

The more than 20-minute pitch

If you only have 20 minutes to pitch, it’s reasonable to anticipate you’ll need a longer block of time, such as 40 minutes or an hour, to cover both the pitch and the Q&A. When it comes to lengthier presentations, Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s former top evangelist, has what he calls the 10/20/30 rule, which is a decent guideline.

It goes like this: if you have a pitch deck of slides for your presentation, use no more than 10 slides, pitch from them in under 20 minutes, and don’t use a typeface lower than 30 points.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.29.47 PM

If you start with the most important part of your pitch—the one-minute version—each subsequent iteration will enable you to elaborate on that point with additional depth.

You’ll have ample time to not only hit the high points indicated under the 10-minute pitch, but also to properly flesh them out in 20 minutes. You may add a quick product demo to demonstrate your technology, or extra information about your clever and efficient company plan that you wouldn’t have had time to provide otherwise.

From the trenches, here’s some advice: pitch to win.

I spoke with entrepreneurs who had successfully presented their company and obtained investment, gathering tips on how to prepare for your presentation and what makes a pitch effective.

Here’s what they discovered as a result of their adventures:

Form a strong team.

Have a fantastic team on your side, and understand why they are the ideal individuals for the task. One of the most critical things to emphasize in your presentation, according to Jackie Wu, is your team.

She suggests responding to inquiries such as, “Why are you people particularly capable of achieving this?” “Are you a seasoned professional?” Be able to explain why you and your top individuals deserve money in a clear and straightforward manner.

Have a strategy and a framework in place.

After a four-minute speech and ten minutes of Q&A, Jasmin Augustin of Swift Logistics, Inc., a shipping firm, won the Liftoff Houston Business Plan Competition, but she claims she would not have gotten that far without first developing her business plan.

You won’t have to submit a business plan for every pitch you make, but you can guarantee that having one in place will make creating your pitch much simpler, and you’ll have something to point investors to if they inquire.

Bring an extra set of clothes.

It may seem old-school, but it’s also a guarantee: if you have a paper copy of your pitch deck on hand, no technological glitches will prevent you from utilizing it.

“I strongly advise you to make a duplicate of the slides in case the projector or computer malfunctions. “This occurred to me,” says Touchstone Compliance’s president, Roman Diaz.


It’s crucial to practice, particularly if you’re an anxious person. It’s natural to feel anxious, but you don’t want it to distract you from your brilliant company idea. So the more you practice discussing your company to others in a consistent and easy way, the higher chance you’ll have of avoiding nervousness when the time comes.

Remember that practicing does not imply memorization; this might make you seem robotic or cause you to lose your place if you are interrupted. You just want to get so comfortable with all of the essential information that you can answer relevant questions in your sleep, so you don’t have to worry about going blank when the pressure is on.

If you’re nervous about public speaking in general, consider joining Toastmasters, an organization that helps individuals improve their public speaking abilities. You can also look at Bplans’ pitching guide for extra tips and ideas.

“If there’s one thing I can’t emphasize enough, it’s the necessity of practicing your pitch,” Caroline Cummings says.

“Tell me more,” make them say.

This is something I’ve heard from a lot of people: piqueing your audience’s attention is a good objective. According to Greg Archbald of Greasebook, an oil and gas technology firm, this can be accomplished in one of two ways:

“1.) Talk about how much traction you’re receiving, or 2.) amuse as well as enlighten.

Investors want to see any form of external confirmation of your product or service’s usefulness or coolness. The more traction you can demonstrate, the less investors will be willing to take a risk.

The second best technique to pique people’s attention is to amuse them. This may be accomplished by incisive fresh insight, wit, or conflict. Not only will the investor appreciate it, but you’ll also stand out from the throng, be remembered, and, most importantly, pique curiosity,” he adds.

Tell us about yourself.

Every business has a backstory. Lida Zlatic of ClassTracks, a language learning startup that has won two pitch contests, recommends approaching your presentation as a captivating tale to tell.

“Every tale contains characters (who is your product benefiting), an issue, a route (a broad recommendation for overcoming the problem—we start this part with, ‘If only…’), and a solution,” says the author (our product). More time is spent discussing the product in longer pitches. “Statistics and comedy are also beneficial,” she adds.

Have you used any of these strategies in a pitch before? Do you have a question about a pitch? Let us know on Twitter if you have any questions!

This article is part of our Business Funding Guide: Bplans can help you fund your business right now.

Note from the editor: This piece was first published in 2015. In 2019, it was upgraded.

Watch This Video-

The “5 minute pitch about yourself” is a short speech that you can use to introduce yourself. It’s important to know what to say in your 1, 5, 10, or 20 minute pitch. Here are some tips from successful entrepreneurs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be in a 5 minute pitch?

A: For a good pitch, about 5 minutes should be enough to show your idea and the problem it is trying to solve.

What should be in a 1 minute pitch?

A: Think of it this way. If youre writing a 1 minute pitch for your favorite band, what is the one thing that would convince someone to listen? Thats right! The hook! The hook is basically the first sentence or paragraph in a short story about the book or film and why people should read/watch it.

How do you make a successful pitch for your business idea with 5 points?

A: It is hard to make a successful pitch with just five points. The best way to do this would be by having a well-executed elevator speech, followed by providing more context and information afterward in the form of an executive summary or one page business plan.

Related Tags

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