Are You Elevator Pitch Ready?
Walking into a crowded room to represent your business is made much easier when you are elevator pitch ready. It can take much of the edge off because you know just what to say when you meet someone new, and it can reduce the anxiety of attending events alone. But as with anything business related, sometimes practice makes perfect.
What exactly is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a two-sentence statement that lets people know what you do. It can be used by anyone in any business and is not solely for people in the sales industry. Consider the length of a short elevator ride – about 20 to 30 seconds. It should take no more than that to introduce you and your company. However, a well-crafted and compelling elevator pitch doesn’t just tell people where you work, it lets people know exactly how you can help others and identifies your Unique Selling Pitch (USP). Consider what will make you stand out from others in a similar industry.
Craft your pitch
If you don’t know where to start, then it’s time to put pen to paper. Write down words that speak to you. It may take a while to get the ball rolling, but you will know when you have something you can work with. Consider your objective first. Are you looking for an overall introduction? Or are you specifically looking to pitch a portion of your business, in particular? Consider what value you give to others.
Refine your pitch
Once you have the words down pat, practice it on friends and family and ask them how it sounds. Specifically ask them to give you constructive criticism on how you can improve your elevator pitch. Take any feedback on board and tweak it as necessary. Time your elevator pitch to confirm the length – remember no more than 30 seconds at the most. Once you have refined it so it is perfect to your ears and theirs, then it’s time to take it out in the real world.
Practice your pitch
Until you practice your pitch, it will sound like a script presented by an unprofessional actor. Practice in the mirror. Practice while you are putting your makeup on. Practice, and then practice some more. Record your voice and then listen back to it, paying attention to tone and volume. How you say it is just as important as what you say. You want it to roll off your tongue naturally without feeling the need to rush through it. Focus on your body language as well – avoid too much or too little body language.
Look for networking opportunities
Keep an eye out for opportunities where you can use your elevator pitch on entrepreneurs and network with those you wish to know. Don’t be afraid to amend and customise as necessary to suit your target audience or the specific event. Using an elevator pitch can open up many a conversation and help you find common ground where there may not have been any before.
An elevator pitch will enable you to spark conversations and cultivate interest in your company or latest project. Remember: you can meet useful contacts in the unlikeliest of places. Therefore having a memorable elevator pitch on hand will give you more confidence to engage with total strangers at your next networking event. And the best part, you never know where that new relationship will take you and your business.