According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch, elevator speech, or elevator statement is a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time. Wikipedia
If you’re thinking, “that’s great but I’m not a sales person, I don’t need an elevator pitch”, think again! An elevator pitch is not about selling. It’s about creating excitement around an idea, project, organization, product or person and is a way to explain what makes those things unique.
You’ll likely only have a few seconds to make an impression, so you should know your statement and have it ready to use at moments notice. As the name implies, if you’re in an elevator, in line at a coffee shop or just happen to bump into someone that you’ve been hoping to connect with, you’ll be ready to seize the opportunity and use your pitch to strike up engagement. It just might be the most meaningful 30 seconds of your life.
Not sure how to cram everything you want to say into a 30 second speech, don’t worry.
Here are the 6 steps to make the perfect elevator pitch:
1. What’s your goal
Think about what you want to accomplish with your pitch. Do you have a new idea you want to sell to your boss? Do you want to spread the word about your new business? Do you want to tell others about what you do for a living? Focusing on one thing ensures your pitch will be crystal clear.
2. Explain your goal
Describe what your goal is and bring attention to why it’s exciting and worth hearing about. What do you want your audience to remember most? For example, if you want to promote your business, explain what your company does in a way that will create excitement around it.
3. What’s special
Communicate how you, your idea, business, product, etc… is unique. And what value does it bring? This is what sets you (your idea, business, etc…) apart from others so it’s important to convey this clearly.
This begins with asking your audience open-ended questions to get the conversation started. Ask about something related to your goal and ensure you are able to answer these questions.
5. Put it together
Time to get writing. Consider and include the elements in steps 1-4. You may have too much information at first, that’s ok. You can edit things down until you have a clear, concise speech that contains only the most relevant, attention grabbing, value packed information.
You’ve got your pitch written out with the elements that you’re happy with. You’ve edited it down to the best version of what you want to say, now it’s time to practice. Recite your pitch out loud and get comfortable with the wording. Practice in front of the mirror to watch your body language and evaluate how you come across. It should feel natural and easy and not like you’re reading a script. The nice thing about an elevator pitch is it’s short, so it should be easy to memorize. Bonus points if you have access to practice with someone who can give you some honest feedback.
Remember to time yourself. Keep your pitch to about 20-30 seconds long.
Using your elevator pitch in a real situation may feel awkward the first few times. The more often you practice, the easier and more effortless it becomes. And as you get comfortable, you’ll be able to get more in tune with how your message is received by the listener and you can make tweaks to it along the way.
Career and personal growth can happen at any moment. By being prepared, your elevator pitch can help you make the most of every opportunity.
Written by Christine Graham