Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

The “60-second Pitch” or the “Elevator pitch” is a 21st century business and marketing tool that is used to spark interest in the target audience within a short space of time, usually in 60 seconds or less, typical of an elevator ride. Having a potentially successful idea is one thing; being able to sell yourself and your idea in the most unlikely places and circumstances is another. Many people struggle with organizing their thoughts when they are put on the spot, may become nervous and confused in that situation and end up messing up that unexpected “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

This article will teach you the 6-step rule on creating an elevator speech that will make your pitch perfect.

Rule 1: Identify yourself. 

Many people are at a loss for words when they meet new people or have to network. You can see their minds racing with the questions, “What do I say? Where do I start? What if I make a fool of myself?” Here’s a tip. Identify yourself. That’s a great place to start. If it’s someone who you’ve been trying to get an appointment with for a while, try not to come across desperate.

Hello Mrs X. It’s nice to finally meet you, I’ve been dying to get to see you, I have called your office several times with no success. Actually, I have a proposal for a business idea, I would love you to invest, blah blah…

Rather than the person warming up to you, they can immediately close off because they feel ambushed. So, Keep it short and simple. Like this:

Hello, my name is Bimbo Oloyede. It’s so nice to meet you.

Rule 2: Offer Background information

Stating your name isn’t enough. Don’t expect your listener to fill in the blanks. So, if you say, “Hi, my name is Bimbo Oloyede,” and you stop there, you’re expecting your listener to do the work for you, right? Don’t be surprised if you may get a response like,

Ok! Or okay? Maybe even So what?

Offer background information about yourself. For example

Hello, my name is Bimbo Oloyede. I’m the lead consultant at Strictly Speaking, a media and communication training firm.  

Adding a little bit of information can pique your listener’s interest. You may get their attention with the tone of your voice, but you have to give them a reason to actually listen to you.

Rule 3: Provide Context

If your listener can identify your interest from your introduction and background, you may skip this part and move on to making a connection straight away. However, you may need to provide some context so that you don’t come across as a random rambler or a nuisance.

State who you are, what you do and give an inkling as to what you have to offer without actually offering it, yet.

I train professionals in presentation, communication and media skill and I operate offices in Lagos and Abuja.

Rule 4: Make the Connection

You cannot get your listener to commit to you if they cannot connect with you. Make a connection with what you do and have to offer with the core of what your listener does. It shows that you have clear direction as to what you want from the listener and it shows the listener that you are committed, current and confident of what you can deliver.

I’ve followed your company’s progress over the years, and I’m inspired by its recent developments in establishing a learning academy for graduates and new entrants.

Rule 5: Ask plainly

Many people find it difficult to articulate what it is they want from their listeners. You come across as unserious and having no clear purpose. Be conscious that the elevator is coming to a stop so don’t continue rambling. You don’t have the luxury of time. Be clear and concise when you make your request.

I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my company can offer its services to your learning academy. Is there someone I can reach to make an appointment at the earliest convenience?

When you make such a request, be ready to exchange contact details. Always have your business card to hand. 

Rule 6: Close out

Always close out warmly, regardless of how you have been received. It leaves a lasting impression more than you realise. If the listener exchanges contact details with you, you may end with

Thank you for your time. I’ll follow up with an email or get in touch soon. It was nice to meet you again.

And even if it’s not positive, you still thank them for their time.

So, let’s put this 60-second pitch together:

Hello, my name is Bimbo Oloyede. I’m the lead consultant at Strictly Speaking, a media and communication training firm that operates in Lagos and Abuja. I train professionals in presentation, communication and media skills. I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my company can offer its services to your learning academy. Is there someone I can reach to make an appointment at the earliest convenience? (Wait for response) Thank you for your time. I’ll follow up with an email or get in touch soon. It was nice to meet you once again.

Now it’s your turn.

Work Life Balance – May the scales be ever in your favour!

Work Life Balance – May the scales be ever in your favour!

The average Lagosian leaves home between 4-6am to get to work before 8am. Unfortunately, this is also the time the traffic demons wake up for their morning routine and regardless of if you are using public transport or driving, by the time you get to work, you are beat even before the day begins.

After a hard day’s work at a tyypical 9-5, you are now faced with the choice between facing the rush hour traffic or staying behind to get ahead of the following day. Most people prefer to stay beyond the normal work hou and eventually get home between 9-11pm, depending on the distance between your home and office. Now, If you are lucky, the weekend is yours to do with as you wish, but for others and depending on your workload, you might find yourself working on Saturdays and maybe Sundays as well.

In several parts of the world, including Europe and Americas, there has been a deliberate effort in the last two decade to pay more attention to the growing needs and health of employees, as it relates to or is affected by the changing dynamics of the work environment. This has led to the development and in many companies, the adoption of a culture tha reduces work-life crises in order to improve employees’ effectiveness and productivity levels.

The idea of Work-Life Balance (WLB) is premised on the fact that paid work and personal life are complementary and achieving balance will require due consideration of the needs of both the employer and employee. However, to understand the concept, is to first acknowledge factors like time and energy, which are fundamental when making decision about allocation and control of working arrangements. While time as an important element borders on the flexibility of working hours, energy identifies demographic factors that might impact on work.

Research on the subject proves that there is a correlation between reduced levels of stress and high performance for those who have a balanced work and personal life. But achieving balance will require that the individual is able to prioritize their time at work, where they can function at optimal levels and still be able to spend a decent amount of time with family and loved ones. It also means that organizations should develop and implement employment policies that balance the scales in such a way that neither work nor personal life suffers.

Within the context of the Nigerian experience, work-life balance is further affected by social-economic challenges influenced by unstable leadership, and this raises concerns about the ability of individuals to successfully balance the pressures from both family and work.

Dealing with the daily pressures isn’t always easy especially with the challenges that subsist in Nigeria. In an article tiled Coping: Pitfalls and Promise published in the Annual Review of Psychology Issue 55, Folkman & Moskowitz (2004) identified that there are 4 coping mechanisms that individuals use to deal with stress – problem solving, personal appraisal, assistance seeking and avoidance/surrender. It is the last one that resonates more with Nigerians, as we have come up with the popular and common vernacular phrase, ‘Las las, everybody go dey alright’.

Everyone can identify with one or more of these mechanisms. You can be motivated to make decisions that solve a potentially stressful problem instead of getting overwhelmed by it e.g. setting timelines to deal with an overflowing to-do checklist. Or, you could adopt an optimistic attitude to work, constantly appraising your state of mind and how it affects others. Fortunately, we live in a society where asking for assistance isn’t an alien concept, so you could also lean on the support of family, friends and even colleagues. Finally, you could simply resign to a situation with your hands raised and a “I cannot come and kill myself’ mentality.

Whether or not these coping mechanisms are effective is an argument for another article but the point is simple, discourse in the area of work-life balance should be strategic in proffering solutions which are reflective of the Nigerian Workers’ experience.

After all has been said, you cannot deny how resiliant Nigerians are; how committed we are to the hustle. However, to win at the hustle, you’ve got to be fit and healthy mentally, physically, psychologically and dare we say, spiritually too. We cannot deny, the hustle is real, but it is your responsiblity to make your health, number one priority.

Besides, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”



Are you excited about Monday and the possibilities that come with a new week? Or are you ‘mad’ about it.

The human mind is conditioned to program beliefs based on life experiences. Similarly, other peoples’ experiences can also shape our beliefs, which explain how a couple of peoples’ bad Monday experiences propagated the popular notion that ‘Monday sucks’.

For the most part of your working life, you have heard people describe Monday as the worst day of the week. In fact, there are studies, which prove that more people are depressed on Monday than they are on any other day of the week. One could argue that the reason is because by Monday, people are still trying to switch back to the work mood after the weekend.

Luckily, beliefs can change which in turn can influence how we respond to certain situations. Imagine if you were more enthusiastic about starting a new week and saw Mondays as another day to achieve the goals you have set, wouldn’t you look forward to it?

So, be mad about Monday, madly- optimistic about how the day should end even if it doesn’t start out great. Be madly- in love with the idea that Mondays present to you a fresh slate to set and achieve goals for the week and mad enough to believe that Monday is the best day of the week.

Oloyede raises bar on English usage – The Nation

Oloyede raises bar on English usage – The Nation

Veteran and practising media professionals, actors and corporate giants were among guests at the presentation of ace broadcaster Bimbo Oloyede’s two books at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Her publications raised fresh concerns on the abuse of English across all spheres of national life. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

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