Elevator pitches are all the rage right now. Looking at the way the world works, people act like they barely have enough time to put down their cell phones or tablets long enough to do important things like eat and shower. Ask them to pay attention to something that’s not important for more than 5 minutes? That’s blasphemy! Too hard! Luckily, and I’d guess out of necessity, the entrepreneurship and venture capital world has latched on to this idea of an elevator pitch. The story goes that at some point an entrepreneur got on this mythical elevator in some massive building in some huge city. Standing next to him just happened to be a key player in an investment firm that could provide said entrepreneur with venture capital. But, alas, he would only be in this elevator with him for 60 seconds! How could he tell him everything he needed to know to secure funding from his awesome company? It’s no secret, and in the next couple paragraphs we’ll give you some tips to create a winner. In an article for Microsoft Business, Steve Strauss stresses 5 tips that can help you create an effective elevator pitch.
- Figure Out Uniqueness – The first is to figure out what is unique about what you do. An elevator pitch is an icebreaker and a marketing pitch all rolled into one. Since it’s supposed to be short, it needs to immediately grab your listener’s attention. Figure out your hook, usually whatever in your business that you feel gives you a competitive advantage. Do you make something that’s better, faster, or stronger? Let your listener know.
- Keep It Exciting – A good elevator pitch can only come from a good elevator pitch-er. See what I did there? The pitch is only going to be as good as the presenter. The listener is not only buying into your idea, but they are also buying into you. Give your pitch some personality.
- Keep It Simple – Remember, you don’t have a lot of time. Don’t try to appeal to every single person that you pitch to. Instead, decide on a clear, concise message and concern yourself with delivering that message as best you can.
- Write It Down – Once you’ve figured out your message, write it down! It’s easier to remember your thoughts when you put them on paper anyway. You can easily make changes to a pitch that is written down rather than trying to do it in your head on the fly.
- Practice, Practice – So you’ve considered the previous 4 points and have an elevator pitch ready to go. The only thing left to do is practice. It may feel weird at first, but keep doing it. Practice in your mirror, on your significant other, on your family; you can even use your dog! Once you get out in front of those people you really need to impress with your pitch, you’ll be glad you practiced.