New acquaintances tend to be overly agreeable, so it can be hard to tell if you’re any good at pitching. Rarely will someone come out and tell you that they don’t get your business concept. A great way to get to the bottom of it is to ask, right after your spiel, “What did I just say?” Especially when pitching a new business or idea, founders are often alarmed to discover that they lose most people they pitch. Sometimes, the responses you get will be so different than what you pitched that you’ll wonder if you speak the same language.
As frustrating as this can be, take it as a learning opportunity. Your listener didn’t get it because you pitched it in a way that didn’t makes sense, didn’t resonate, or wasn’t interesting. Figure out what caused the confusion and find a way to make it better. Keep working on your pitch, and soon you’ll know how to quickly convey even the most complex ideas.
Asking your listener to repeat what you said puts him on the spot, so a good way to ease into it is to explain your reasoning. Say something like, “I’m trying to improve my pitch and was wondering how it sounds. Would you mind telling me what I just told you?”