Whether at a professional networking event or meeting people socially inevitably at some point there will be that moment when you are asked ‘’what do you do?”, or are invited to stand up and deliver your ‘elevator pitch.’ So, you do need to be able to articulate who you are and what you do in a short space of time. And that in essence is all an elevator pitch is!!
- You do need to distil down your message so that it can be delivered either verbally for 60 seconds or less ideally 20-30 seconds.
- You need it to be short but also interesting and memorable. It is also a good idea to have more than one version so that you can vary the pitch depending on what you wish to promote and the audience.
- Your starting point is to think about the objective of your pitch. Is it to tell people about what you do, or promote a new product or service you will soon be launching? What do you want your audience to remember most about you? It should bring a smile to your face and excite you, people might not remember exactly what you said but they will remember how you made them feel, and enthusiasm is infectious.
Identify the most common problems your product or service solves for your customers distil it down into its simplest form then describe it in no more than one sentence, or two or three bullet points you and your company may solve a variety of problems, but for this choose one core problem. You can always repeat the exercise for each problem your product or service solves. Build your content so you can tailor your pitch to the audience on the day.
How do you solve that problem? Whatever the solution is that you use to solve that problem, again distil the description down to as few words as possible. You should be able to describe the solution at a high level in just a few sentences. Don’t be tempted to stretch the solution to solve multiply problems. But do create a sentence for each solution.
What is unique to you, your company, and your product? Again distil this down into one sentence, and create more than one.
Ask a Question
Finish off with a question – you want an open question that will engage people in a discussion or conversation
Put it all together and practice practice practice. You want it to sound completely natural, and conversational. Over time you will find you won’t say it as it is written, which is fine it will sound more natural that way.
Pick & Mix
Once you have finished this exercise you should have a menu of sentences that you can pick and mix a variety of elevator pitches from that you can then match to the audience you are with.
The most important thing is that you allow who you are to shine through, and are memorable for all the right reasons.
The most memorable elevator pitches I have seen recently were firstly a lady called Cheryl Whybrow who attended the Great Business Breakout back in March. Cheryl runs a Sing & Sign business in Colchester, http://www.babysigning-colchester.co.uk/ and I know she won’t mind me telling you how nervous she was when we were practising elevator pitches on the workshop. Well she had no need for nerves Cheryl literally sang and signed her elevator pitch to us. It was brilliant, completely unique and memorable, Cheryl’s personality shone through as well, we not only new what she did for a living but how she did it as well.
Another is a lady I meet regularly networking. Keely Taylor of Taylor Made Trees.
Keely is a genealogist, and helps people with their family trees. Keely often kicks off her elevator pitch with words to the effect of ‘ I find dead people and hang them on a tree.’ A real attention grabber, completely unforgettable, and says what Keely does really succinctly.
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