How to Craft An Elevator Pitch That Gives People Chills in Under 20 Seconds

July 2, 2020 12 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You are more than likely familiar with Entrepreneur’s popular show “Elevator Pitch,” in which entrepreneurs pitch their company to a board of investors during a 60-second elevator ride. If the investors like the pitch, the elevator doors open and the entrepreneur is invited into the board room to potentially make a deal. This show’s premise is of course inspired by concept that people in business have embraced for decades now: that a truly good idea can be summed up in the span of an elevator ride. But this poses a significant dilemma. As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely been toiling away at your idea for some time, possibly even years. How are you supposed to cram all of the value you’ve created in so little time? And if you’re making a pitch in order to attract investments, how […]

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A Top TED Speaker on the Most Important Leadership Skill Right Now

June 24, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Shortly after George Floyd’s death, I contributed an article to Entrepreneur that told the story of what happened when I responded individually to 170 emails from members of my list. I had asked them how I could best show up for them during this tumultuous time. Based on how many of these folks took this opportunity not to ask for certain content, but to simply share their thoughts, I came to understand that what they most wanted was to feel heard. In the article, this led me to emphasize that the most important thing a leader can do right now is show up with curiosity. Rather than define how we respond to the social unrest with what we say to our followers, we can instead define it by what we ask. This may sound like a nice idea, and […]

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After Responding to 170 Emails Following George Floyd’s Death, Here’s What I Found Out

June 8, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Before George Floyd’s death, I had planned on sending an email to my list about a quiz I had put together on elevator pitches. My plan, before the atrocity transpired, was to send out the email on Monday, June 1st.  But by Sunday, May 31st, there were protests nationwide. And in my neighborhood in Los Angeles County, there was protests, violence, and helicopters flying overhead around the clock. It was clear that sending out a quiz wouldn’t have just fallen on deaf ears; it would have been in incredibly bad taste. Many of us struggle with how to respond to events like what happened to Mr. Floyd, especially if we’re white and have not been subjected to the prejudices that face people of color in this country. We’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, or taking the wrong […]

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Is Your Marketing Failing the “Trudge to the Bathroom” Test?

May 28, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Since the outbreak began, it can seem like it’s harder than ever to stand out amidst all the noise. We’re writing posts that people don’t read, hosting live streams people don’t attend, and running ads that people don’t click on anymore. And when you combine a decrease in engagement, a loss of income, and a nagging feeling that you’re not even making a contribution, it’s only natural that the internal strife just builds and builds. This lack of engagement, money, and purpose very much defined my life a few years ago. I had developed skills as a communication and messaging expert, yet I was driving for Lyft just to make ends meet. I knew I had valuable skills, but no one else did. Then, a couple of years ago, I made a shift in my marketing that changed everything. When I […]

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How I (Almost) Doubled My Productivity While Working From Home

April 20, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I began working for myself in 2007, after leaving an editor job for the book publishing company Penguin. I aspired to edit books as a freelancer, and within a couple of months I began ghostwriting books as well. But not even a month into this transition, I discovered that I had very little patience for working at home. I would find myself struggling to sustain engagement for more than an hour or an hour and a half. After that I had to watch a movie or otherwise veg out. This was a fatal flaw in my plan to work for myself. Thankfully, within a couple of months I figured out what worked for me, which was a bizarre routine of working just 15 or 20 minutes and then taking a 10-minute break to watch part of a […]

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How to Keep a Virtual Audience Captivated

I got trolled, and learned an important lesson in taking public speaking from the stage to the screen. March 25, 2020 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As we all know, all sorts of previously live events are now going virtual. People who planned to give presentations in front of a large room of people are now hunched over their laptops, doing the honors via teleconferencing software. As we cope with this daunting outbreak, those of us who are live presenters are faced with another formidable challenge: Keeping people engaged with our content. We must ensure that they’ll stick around to the end of our webinar to hear our call to action. And if we work for a company, we want them to stay put so they’ll have the necessary guidance to move forward effectively with a project. Many of us might give the exact same presentation and just hope for […]

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How to Dazzle Your Audience in the First 7 Seconds of Your Speech

In the moment after you’ve been introduced but before you begin to speak, anticipation builds. Here’s how to use it to command a room. February 14, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I once attended a breakfast lecture series to see a man speak about design for 30 minutes. Five minutes into it, I wished I had stayed home to make myself some eggs. The man committed many sins typical of inexperienced public speakers. He made his slide deck more important than what he had to say. He used advanced technical jargon instead of language that his layperson audience could understand. But his most egregious mistake happened before all of that. In fact, it happened in the first 7 seconds.  What he did that morning is done often, by most speakers I’ve seen. First, he thanked the person who introduced him. Then he greeted everyone and asked […]

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