Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Reimagine Networking: How to craft the perfect “Snapchat” Pitch

The following post is from Hari Maheshwaran ’18, co-founder of ZAVR Men, a spring 2017 hatchery business. ZAVR Men is redefining the modern gentleman by designing minimal, modern accessories that effortlessly complement a well-dressed attired for any occasion, embodying the lifestyle of the modern gentleman.

This blog was originally posted on Medium. Access here >>

Hari Maheshwaran ’18, co-founder of ZAVR Men

When preparing for networking events, the first piece of advice anybody gives is to have your “elevator pitch” ready. However, in this age of decreasing attention spans, that advice couldn’t be more wrong than ever before. Today, to be an effective networker, you need to start building your personal “snapchat pitch.”

Elevator pitches are from a time when you would have 60 to 90 seconds between floors on an elevator to talk to a potential client or investor, who was (fortunately or unfortunately so) stuck in the elevator with you. In 2017, neither are elevators ever more than 20 seconds long between floors or is there ever a gap of even 10 seconds when someone doesn’t decide to pull out their phone.

Time and time again, I witness professionals, young and old, attempting to pitch themselves in traditional 30–60 second elevator pitches only to be bid farewell as fast as others stop paying attention to the pitch. To be an effective networker, you need to reimagine how you pitch yourself.

The average human attention is now a mere 8 seconds, shorter than that of a goldfish.

Science backs this: research conducted by Microsoft found that the average human attention is now a mere 8 seconds, shorter than that of a goldfish. In a broader sense, this applies beyond elevator conversations to interactions at any social event; anybody worth talking only has a mere 8 seconds before they stop paying attention to you, unless your pitch convinces them to pay further attention.

This is why you need to repurpose your Elevator pitch into the perfect Snapchat pitch. A Snapchat pitch is 10 seconds long when you pitch yourself, your startup, or your idea in a manner that is brief, visually appealing, and interesting to then spark a desire to continue the conversation. I created the term based on its namesake from the original concepts of Snapchat.

Now, let’s break down the three components that make an effective Snapchat pitch:

  1. Be Brief. You need to convey the essence of what you want to say in less than 10 seconds. In many cases, this is just about 140 characters or 23 words if you talk at a normal pace. As they say, the answers to the most complicated questions in the world are pretty simple in essence.
  2. Be Visual. To strengthen the effect of your pitch, you need to assure that the recipient can visualize it. This includes, but is not related, to the way you are dressed, your emotions, and any material you may have. For example, when pitching a client, you want them to imagine a professional working relationship with you in the future. How can you achieve this? By presenting yourself and your work in an organized manner, dressing the part, and being genuine.
  3. Be Memorable. The goal of any pitch, including a Snapchat pitch, is to excite others to want to engage in a longer conversation. Think about the person you are pitching to and what they will find interesting. For example, an investor is always looking to make more money, so play this to your advantage. When you pitch your next venture, frame your pitched according future market opportunity and growth potential. Remember, a memorable pitch is what makes others excited to listen to what you say.

Here are a couple examples of effective Snapchat pitches:

Hi, my name is [XYZ] and I’ve had the unique opportunity of graduating high school early and working at [company XYZ] before entering college. (23 words, 142 characters, 8.7 seconds)

Hi, I created [XYZ], the world’s first disappearing messaging app. You can send images and videos that disappear after people see them. (24 words, 145 characters, 9.3 seconds)

Hi, I built a crowdfunding platform that has connected 250 creators with 1000+ customers, and I’m scaling it to 1000 creators within the next 6 months. (26 words, 151 characters, 9.6 seconds)

The best way to build and perfect your Snapchat pitch is by practicing it over and over again. Use the Snapchat app to record yourself pitching, and immediately send it to your friends and advisors who can provide feedback. This way, you can have saved recordings of your pitches that are forced by a 10 second time constraint, and you can create an easy feedback loop directly on Snapchat.

Need help? Send me a message at and we can work together to build your perfect Snapchat pitch.