Whether it’s delivering a business proposal to clients, attending a networking event or preparing for a job interview – it helps to have an elevator pitch up your sleeve.
For the unaware, an elevator pitch refers to a short speech that is meant to highlight and sell your or your company’s capabilities. The keyword here is – short because it needs to be such that it only lasts as long as an elevator ride which is around 30-40 seconds.
Saying everything you have to in just 40 seconds might sound impossible, but it isn’t when you plan it in advance. Here is how you can craft a solid elevator pitch that is sure to leave an impact and get you noticed.
Establish Your Objective
You have a lot to say but the time is short. What do you do? You prioritize.
Spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve from the elevator pitch. This is not the time to ramble on or make small talk.
Are you looking to win a client, make a sale, share an exciting idea or bag a role – narrow down on your objective because it will help you craft a more focused elevator pitch.
Make An Attention-Grabbing Start
Be it an essay or an elevator pitch – there is nothing like starting with an attention-grabber that manages to capture the audience’s interest from the word goes.
There are many ways to grab their attention in a jiffy such as sharing a fascinating statistic related to your field of work or accomplishments, start with an interesting story or even share a funny anecdote.
Not everyone you speak to will necessarily give you their full attention but when you start with an interesting hook, they are likely to get intrigued and shift focus to what you have to say.
Highlight Your USPs
So, you managed to get their attention – good going!
Now, it’s time to make your point to achieve your underlying objective. Get straight to the point and speak about what makes you unique and sets you apart from the competition. Remember – you need to be able to share your value proposition or suggest a solution to a pain point they might be experiencing.
It is a good idea to share facts and figures as they contribute to a more memorable pitch and add credibility to your value offering.
Pose A Question
A common mistake people do is that they make elevator pitches only about themselves. Well, that’s not ideal because it’s also important to understand what your listener thinks or has to say.
So, always pose a question to keep the person engaged. Open-ended questions work best because there is more scope to carry forward the conversation and make it more meaningful. It also shows that you are receptive to the person you are talking to as opposed to rambling on for 40 seconds and disappearing.
An elevator pitch is not an announcement, advertisement or monologue, it’s meant to be part of a conversation and the more organic you are while voicing it, the better it is. Anything rehearsed just comes across as robotic and fails to impress and engage the listener.
So, practice all you want but ultimately, it needs to sound natural and conversational. How do you achieve that? Talk clearly, smile, make eye contact and keep it interactive.
Once you have crafted a winning elevator pitch, you must read it out aloud, practice saying it in front of the mirror or in front of other people. This is sure to boost your confidence and help perfect your tone and pitch.
Don’t make the mistake of memorizing the script. Understand the essence and you are likely to deliver it more naturally.