elevator pitch

Do you have an elevator pitch? Mine has changed several times — all necessary. But this post is actually about the emotions that sugar generates.

I began with a standard 30-second elevator pitch. Remember that version? It was the original length years ago, but now almost nobody will listen that long.

I shortened mine to 15 seconds.

Yet people went glassy-eyed when I said “psychoactive nutrition,” even though I immediately defined it as “how foods affect brain chemistry.”[wlm_private 'PRO-Platinum|PRO-Monthly|PRO-Gratis|PRO-Seasonal|Platinum-trial|Monthly-trial|PRO-Military|30-Days-of-PRO|90 Day PRO|Stages-Instructor|Schwinn-Instructor|Instructor-Bonus|28 Day Challenge']

Still, brain chemistry interested them, so I changed the pitch again. I started with ‘food and brain chemistry”™ and left out ‘psychoactive nutrition.”™

Then I heard great recommendations from speakers and marketing pros on the perfect pitch:
- Don”™t explain your process, just the results.
- Keep it short.
- Avoid big words.
- Start with a question.

All sounded like good ideas. I re-crafted my pitch with a starting question and shortened it again — this time to 10 seconds.

“You know how people have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other medical problems they can”™t fix because they”™re stuck on sugar? Well, I help people conquer sugar addiction so they can transform their health and feel great.”

I could never finish it. Everyone would interrupt by the time I said “high blood pressure...”

“My father has both, and high cholesterol. What should he do?”
“My mother”™s diabetic. Are you a doctor?”

One woman told me, “The second part interested me, but the first part didn”™t.”

(Ironically enough, when I asked what she did, her answer took 45 complicated, boring seconds. I didn”™t have the heart to challenge her critique of my 10-second pitch when hers was a remedy for insomnia. But I digress.)

I changed my pitch again and dropped the opening question.

“I help people conquer sugar addiction, so they can transform their health, feel better, lose their mood swings, and gain control of their eating.”

It”™s 6 seconds long. And I can”™t make it through the 6 seconds without being interrupted, right after ‘sugar addiction”™:

“Oh, that”™s so important!”
“That”™s a big deal right now. Everyone”™s addicted to sugar.”
“My daughter is addicted to sugar; it”™s all she eats.”
“Sugar is more addictive than heroin. Don”™t you agree?”
“Do you really believe it”™s possible to be addicted to sugar?”

So — and I already knew this — it”™s an emotional topic. If I can”™t even get through a 6-second sentence, something is charging people up enough that they must speak then and there.

In past presentations, people have glowered at me when I”™ve talked about the health problems linked with the granulated white stuff.

A man walked out during one talk because I answered his question that, yes, fruit is sugar.

While I was still working on my doctorate, fat was the go-to dietary demon. In a lecture I gave to fitness pros, I was discussing sugar as a factor in health issues. “I have the same degree you do,” an angry woman shouted [we had master”™s degrees in exercise physiology], “and you don”™t know what you”™re talking about!”

With all of these food-related emotions, this past weekend was such a relief. A real estate agent asked what I do.

He gave me the full 6 seconds to finish my sentence and questioned, “Is there a market for that?”[/wlm_private]

Joan Kent

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