Regardless of your industry or what level you’re currently at, you must have heard of the notorious elevator pitch. The concept is simple, an elevator pitch does exactly what is says on the tin: it delivers a succinct and effective summary in the typical time span of an elevator ride, 30-60 seconds.
According to the Salisbury University, another good argument for this specific time-frame, is that the attention span of the average person only lasts 30 seconds. So there’s truly no space for rambling.
An elevator pitch can be geared towards selling an idea to your boss, networking at a conference, or even simply telling people what you do for a living. The goal is to engage the listener so that the conversation leads to the exchange of business cards, scheduling of meetings, etc.
Considering the importance of this skill, we’ve composed a guide with writing tips for you to craft an elevator pitch that is bound to take you places.
Purpose & Audience
There is no one-size-fits-all for elevator pitches. As the audience and context changes, your pitch will need changes too. These can range from small tweaks to more time-consuming edits, so be prepared to put in the effort. You’ll find yourself writing various versions, but it’s all part of the process.
Why should they care?
This should be at the core of your pitch, as it is responsible for capturing their attention. Make your pitch revolve around the listener, highlighting why it’s relevant for them. This is also the factor that will make or break your chances of making a good case for yourself. If your pitch isn’t deserving of their ears, they will just nod and smile politely, they won’t absorb anything.
Technical terminology does inspire confidence and convey one’s expertise in their field. However, a good elevator pitch consists of accessible, direct language, so you must refrain from jargons and buzzwords.
But you can use statistics: keep it light, one or two are the recommended dose. Once you’ve wowed them into scheduling meetings, then you can expand on the technicalities.
Keep it short & sweet
When preparing your pitch, remind yourself that it must be concise, as it’s supposed to last 30-60 seconds. One good rule of thumb writers and speakers live by, is that if a sentence can be said with fewer words, then it must be done that way. It’s fitting for the nature of an elevator’s pitch, and respectful towards other people’s times, so always go for the concise approach.
You want to engage and persuade, only then will your idea stand a chance. Do convey what characterizes you, (your idea, services, product, etc.) as special, different. Focus on the elements that make it stand out from the rest, how it is better than what is offered by your competitors, or depending on the scenario, better than what has been done before in your company.
This should not only trigger their interest momentarily, but it will make your whole pitch linger in their memory. And that’s the purpose, to make it memorable.
Rehearse it to somebody.
Rehearse your pitch to somebody trustworthy (ideally a more experienced professional) and get their feedback. Another set of ears and eyes is vital to writing the best possible pitch.
With these tips, hard-work, and constructive criticism from your listener, you should be on your way to achieving an excellent pitch!
Remember what they say, everyone is a sales person. Good Luck!