Your 60 second business networking pitch: can it be TOO professional?

OK, OK – I do go on at length about how important it is to get your 60 second pitch (elevator pitch) honed to perfection if you want to come across as believable, referable and professional when you’re networking for business. I go on at even more length when I talk about translating the verbal version of your 60 seconder into written words such as short bios, website sound bites, etc. But guess what…

Your 60 second business networking pitch: can it be TOO professional?

Can a 60 second business networking pitch be TOO professional?

A professional 60 second pitch still needs to be human

Huh? You heard me. Think about it.

If someone gets up at a business networking meeting and gives the 60-second pitch, you expect them to be professional. You expect them to have honed it to perfection and all that.

But you also expect there to be a glimpse of the real person behind it … maybe a quick off-the-cuff comment, a smile about something someone else has said, a swift remark relating to something that has happened that day, on the drive there, on the national or regional news, or whatever.

A little touch of human, personal input reassures the audience that you are really there, in person, in the room.

Too polished – how does that affect you?

In recent months I have done a lot (and I mean a lot ) of business networking in Canada and the UK and have listened to more 60-second pitches than I have had hot dinners.

Most have been good; some have been very good; some have been awful.

And a few others have been too  good.

What some people tend to forget is that when they are standing up delivering their 60-seconder to a group of fellow business networkers, there is a fine dividing line between doing it well, and doing it so well that everyone feels you’re reciting a script parrot-fashion.

The parrot-fashion version

This may be useful because it allows you to perform a rehearsed script.

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How can you incorporate that if you go out business networking and recite your superbly professional spiel, without taking your surroundings and your current audience into consideration?

Hmmmm. A dilemma for many.

A solution to save your 60 second business networking pitch

Create a core message that you deliver every time – not necessarily in the exact same words, but exact in the thoughts you express.

When the time arrives for everyone to go around the room or the table each saying your 60 second business networking pitch, scribble down (on paper or your tablet/laptop) anything that strikes you as a common denominator in the day’s business.

Then scribble down a couple of cues that will enable you to incorporate that common denominator either on to the front end or the back end of your pitch.


Take-out point: of course do a professional 60 seconder, but don’t forget to make it real

It’s perhaps a sad thought that in our quest to be increasingly professional, there is this risk of losing our human connectibility in favour of commercial, conventional perfectionism.

My own feeling is that it’s fine and dandy, but at the end of the day business is about people dealing with people. People we like, too.

So although of course you must polish your 60 second business networking pitch, don’t polish it so hard that you rub its personality and uniqueness out altogether.

Do you think some 60 second business networking pitches are overdone?

And can be too professional?

If so, why?

Please share your views!







  1. Great post Suzan, I find that people who use the same 60 second pitch regularly become over familiar with it and rush through so fast that often some of it is unintelligible. If it is too slick then there is nothing to hang on to.

    • I agree, Dave. Some people’s pitches sound too much like pre-recorded commercials, which detracts from the whole point of F-2-F networking which is to establish personal as well as business links.

  2. Personally, I’m terrible if I don’t have a plan ahead of time. Even if people don’t like it as much, I prefer to plan things well ahead of time.

    • By all means have a plan, Mike … just don’t perform it like an actor performing lines. That’s when it comes across as a bit cheesy. But a plan in itself is a good idea, because it keeps you focused on what you need to say. Don’t worry – you’re doing fine!