Mastering the Elevator Pitch: Tips for Success

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." -Albert Einstein

We have all been there. The moment you meet someone new, and are faced with the question, “So, what do you do?” or alternatively, “what does your business do?” This can often leave us speechless, even though we likely know exactly what to say. In that precise moment, finding the words can seem impossible. However, there is a solution. You have probably heard of an elevator pitch, and if you haven’t, we are glad this blog found you! Today, let’s discuss some of the key tips to mastering your elevator pitch. 

According to Business News Daily, an elevator pitch is a succinct and compelling summary that both answers what you do, and intrigues the inquisitive person enough for them to ask more or to take some desired action. It has been thought that this term was developed by Hollywood screenwriters, who would often use an elevator ride as an opportunity to suggest stories to film executives. Typically, lasting about 30 seconds, this leaves you with few precious moments to capture the attention and inform your listener. 

Start with research 

This isn’t the time to be generic. Dig deep into what you do, and what your business offers. Consider what aspects of your business set you apart from others, and what unique expertise you bring to the people you serve.  

Clearly define what you do so the person you are speaking to understands the worth you can bring to them. In an article from Inc., it emphasizes the importance of showing rather than telling; “Don’t tell investors you are great. Show them what you do so well they will conclude you are great.” Provide quantifiable data that illustrates your value. 

Know your audience 

It is important for your elevator pitch to be catered to the specific people you will be engaging with, so be sure that you have a few versions of your pitch depending on the situation. For example, it would sound quite different speaking to a potential investor than it would a potential networking connection. Be adaptable in your delivery, and make sure you cover the necessary points that your audience will find captivating, so they want to find out more about you and your business. 

Stick to the point 

The whole concept of an elevator pitch is to be short, clear, and to the point. Don’t ramble, or veer away from the points you want to emphasize. It is important not to bombard or overwhelm the person you are speaking to with extensive, or unnecessary, information. If you do, your message runs the risk of getting lost in translation or falling flat.  

Stand out in the crowd with your elevator pitch!

Show your personality 

When delivering your elevator pitch, since you only have about 30 seconds, make sure you are making the best first impression. Let the passion you have for your business be the shining star. Don’t be afraid to be creative, use humour, and show the type of person you are. Share a story, or an interesting anecdote that people will remember. People relate through similar experiences, so weaving a personal narrative into your pitch will help you connect with others.  

Conclude with a call to action 

Consider the following: What is your ask? Do you want to gather more information from this person? Do you want to do business together? Does their business serve yours? When you conclude your elevator pitch, finish with a question that opens the door for future conversation.  

Practice makes perfect 

Once you have done the necessary work to craft your elevator pitch, now is the time to practice, practice, practice. You want to be able to deliver this without batting an eye. Therefore, the more you rehearse it, with different people in your life, the better you will be. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, and colleagues and ask for feedback. Be open to suggestions and note how people react to what you are saying.  

To make a lasting impression, your elevator pitch should be compelling and memorable. Do you have an elevator pitch? What are your tips? Find us on LinkedIn and share your experiences! 

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