Making the most out of a first impression.

So you have a great business idea, but where to go from there? First, you’ll need a great pitch. We asked Catapult’s Robert Blacklidge for help. In addition to his work with the incubator’s CO.STARTERS program, which helps entrepreneurs refine their message and perfect their presentations, Blacklidge has created his own Udemy course for pitching.

Broad strokes, Blacklidge suggests this basic format for elevator pitches:

We believe ____ (your business’ why).

So we ____ (your business’ how).

Join us ____ (your business’ what).

You should end up with something like this:

“I believe that education empowers you, and entrepreneurship sets you free. I educate people on entrepreneurship so that they are empowered to pursue their passions. Will you join us in the next class?”

Ultimately, Blacklidge says, “The quality of your pitch relies on your ability to understand why your audience cares and conveying that ‘why’ in your message.”