The year is 2019, and the world is moving faster than ever. Technology is advancing and robots are coming for our jobs. The alarmingly fast rate has to be applied to everything, including pitching your business to a potential investor or selling yourself to a possible employer. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.
According to the Business Dictionary, the elevator pitch is a very concise presentation of an idea covering all of its critical aspects and delivered within a few (30-60) seconds (the approximate duration of an elevator ride). As the definition suggests, the elevator pitch has to be short, straight-to-the-point, yet enough to stir the interest of your listener.
Does it seem like a lot? Allow us to show you how in four steps:
- Highlight your passion
Even in daily conversation, the most memorable conversations are usually fueled by passion, hence, your elevator pitch should be no different. As much as possible, ensure your pitch is, unique, engaging, and could lead to further conversation. This can only be achieved by showing your passion and it is highly contagious. Be genuinely excited about whatever you are pitching. This would help you get and sustain your listener’s attention. Light up that passion!
- Be concise
There is always a lot to say, but for the sake of the elevator pitch, you have a limited time to make an unforgettable first impression. Ensure you construct a straight-to-the-point elevator pitch that should take you about 30-60 seconds to deliver at a normal pace. This means it should be about 150-250 words. As much as you can, plan your elevator pitch for 30 seconds, just in case. Practice presenting your pitch in front of friends, family, and co-workers and ask them to time it for you. Keep at it until you meet the 30 seconds mark so any extra time can be spent answering questions from whoever you are pitching to.
- Focus on unique features
While crafting your pitch, you should focus on the qualities, experiences, or achievements that make you special. Almost everyone has a degree/business these days. What makes you/your business such a catch? How are you different? When you discover the answer, make that the nucleus of your pitch. This is what will make your listener pause and seriously consider whatever offer you are pitching.
- Ask a question
To conclude your elevator pitch, try as much as possible to ask an open-ended question that causes the individual to think deeply or answer. This is a great way to engage the person in a longer conversation. For instance, say: “If you have some time, I would love to meet with you in person to hear more about your organization and any opportunities.” Or, you can say something like, “Would you be able to put me in contact with the person in charge of business development so I can tell them more about what I can offer your company?” Do your best to get a business card to follow up with the person too.
In the end, practice makes perfect so make sure you consistently practice the art of perfecting your elevator pitch. As always, we are rooting for you.