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A frequently asked question I receive is Andrew how long should my pitch be? To which my normal answer is 15 minutes but there are other things to consider: if you have only 30 seconds, 3 minutes, 5 minutes you’re in a pitch competition most likely and then you have no choice about how long a pitch should be but it is possible that you go to a prospective client and they give you half an hour or even an hour indeed, I’ve had four hours given to me by a prospective client, in that situation how long should you pitch?

My sense is that 15 minutes just like TED Talks, is about as long as you can realistically look to hold your audience’s attention that being said, actually the fundamental question is not around how long have you got the real question is what is your audience like? For example, if your audience are dead against you and they want to throw tomatoes or even rocks at you, they’re angry, they hate you they don’t want you or your solution you’re probably going to need longer to pitch to convert them.

If however they love it they love you, they love your solution and all they really want to do is run up to the front and hug you in that situation all you’re doing is soaking up lots of love then you should look to make your pitch shorter.

So if you have the option of how long your pitch should be ask the question first, what is the disposition of my audience? If they’re against me make then pitch longer if they’re for me make it shorter.