You are an aspiring entrepreneur and you have found yourself in an elevator, at a networking event or cocktail party with a potential investor right next to you. What do you do? First, don’t freak out. Second, rock your elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a short and memorable introduction of your business, product, organization or service. And short means really short. So you should be super prepared and organized.
The last thing you want is to bore someone with your elevator pitch. Yes, 30-60 seconds is enough time to make somebody yawn.
An elevator pitch will be of a great use during a networking event. Because there is no escaping the famous question: “So, what do you do?” Starting your answer with an “umm…” is not a good idea. Remember, a successful elevator pitch tries to get the listener to act on what you are presenting.
For entrepreneurs, it is an especially important occasion. It will increase publicity, attract new customers and investors. Here are your tips for crafting a killer elevator pitch!
Short and Simple
Simplicity is key. Fancy words and attitude will decrease your chances. If you use industry jargon, you might very soon lose your listener. What should you do when words fail? Right, opt for images! People love visuals and are more likely to remember and recall them.
Spicing up your speech with a bit of data and statistics might help. It will increase your credibility but do not overdo. If it’s a product you are pitching, describe it in a way that makes your listener see it immediately. And if you can make them want it, the better for you!
What’s Your Hook?
Hooks are a top speechmaking strategy. It is a common practice using a hook in the beginning. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use it halfway through. You can encourage questions as well. Because if someone asks questions it means they’re interested to find out more. Good storytellers are also good listeners. Direct the rest of your speech in accordance with their curiosity. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s surely worth it.
Telling a Story
Stories always lend it. To make someone contribute to your venture, they should care about it first. Make your story relatable. What problem are you solving in the market? Is there something new and unique you are offering to your customers?
Tell a “before and after” type of story. Tell about your customers’ pain and how wonderful their lives have been ever since your product or service hit the market. A little bit of pathos is a must for every story.
Is Your Pitch Targeted?
No need to go standard with your elevator pitch. Try to read into your listeners as much as you can before you start talking. They might be from different industries and be looking for different things. Make at least three variations of your pitch. When you have so little time, sorting out audiences you might encounter is a must.
Keeping Your Goal in Mind
It kind of ties to the previous point. Is the objective of your elevator pitch to attract a new costumer? Or are you in need of an angel investor? Maybe you are just looking for feedback and or a business advisor. Thinking only about your audience is not enough. After all, you don’t want to end up attracting somebody for the wrong reason.
Call to Action
That’s what your objective is – getting people to act for your benefit. Invite them to subscribe to your service, invite them for a visit. Don’t sound shallow doing so, be persuasive and make it look that you want specifically them around. But never cross the line between being persuasive and pressuring.
Because practice makes perfect. Why won’t you actually ride the elevator and rehearse your speech? It might look all good on paper but in practice, you might mumble a great deal. Read it aloud, time it, record it, make somebody listen to it. Strengths and weaknesses of your pitch will become evident and give you the opportunity to edit effectively.
You might think that crafting an elevator pitch is easy since its short and nobody knows your business or services better than you. But the shorter the pitch gets, the harder it is to write one. If you don’t want your startup to fail, don’t let your elevator pitch fail. Give it the time and dedication it deserves and don’t forget to make it casual, personal and sassy!