Legend has it that the origins of the elevator pitch can be traced to Hollywood when screenwriters would find themselves with an executive on an elevator.
These days elevator pitches are used widely by sales executives, people looking for a career move, as well as recent grads.
A well-crafted and tested elevator pitch is a must in our competitive landscape. Read on for the top tips on how to write and deliver a killer elevator pitch.
What is the Point of an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a short speech between 30 seconds and two minutes. The point is to give the listener an overview of who you are, what you do, and what your goals are.
But the true aim is to make a lasting impression.
Elevator pitches are useful in business networking, when meeting potential clients, or when you meet people in a real elevator.
There is a real art to the perfect elevator pitch. First of all, you don’t want to come across as rehearsed. You also don’t want to tell your whole life story or 20-year-plan.
A killer elevator pitch is short, engaging, and makes the listener want to google you when they get to their desk.
This short little soundbite can open doors to opportunities you never expected. The right pitch delivered to the right person can be more effective than a cover letter and resume sent to an inbox.
So how do you go about crafting and delivering one?
Main Parts of an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch needs to contain the answer to three basic questions.
- What do you do?
- What makes you special?
- What are your goals?
Yet, answering these questions needs to be done through a compelling (yet short and snappy) story.
A boring elevator pitch can have the opposite effect you are hoping for. Put some thought into the needs or problems that your listener might encounter. You want to show that you can offer solutions.
How can your unique skill set meet their needs?
The third thing your pitch needs to touch upon is your goals. This can be tricky because you don’t want to be too specific. You want your elevator pitch to be relevant in a variety of situations and when talking to many different people.
So say what you’re looking for, such as “an opportunity to apply my marketing skills to a new market” or to “partner with a strategic organization in order to grow brand awareness.”
Once you have a basic idea of what you want to talk about, write a draft of your elevator pitch. Take the time to find the right word.
After all, you’ve only got around a minute. So each word counts!
Time Your Pitch
Once you are happy with your written pitch, it’s time to try saying it out loud. Read it and time yourself.
We’ve mentioned that an elevator pitch can be anywhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.
Yet, the last thing you want is to deliver an incomplete pitch because the elevator opens and they step out. Or zone out because they are bored.
So you can either make your pitch 30 seconds to be safe. Or you can make two versions, one 30 seconds and one that is longer (but no more than 2 minutes).
Practice, Practice, Practice
In order to succeed in pitching your business, your pitch needs to be smooth, clear, and confident.
That means you must practice. Practice with a timer in front of the mirror. Yes, you might feel awkward looking at yourself in a mirror as you talk, but it’s worth it.
Looking in the mirror will help you fine-tune your facial expressions and posture. Keep in mind that how you say it is just as important as the words you use. In fact, 55% of first impressions are made by what people see.
The more you practice your pitch, the more natural it’ll sound. You want to aim for a conversational tone. You never want to sound like an aggressive salesperson.
Smile and Be Genuine
People want to work with and do business with people they like. So when you deliver your pitch, it’s important to smile and be yourself.
You want your personality to come across clearly. Go ahead and show your passion for your industry.
The great thing about an elevator pitch is that it can make you come across as more confident than you might actually be.
It’s crucial to be seen as confident when you deliver your pitch, even if you are a recent grad without work experience.
Potential employers want to see that you are capable and can rise to the job.
As you get used to delivering your pitch, you can start to vary it a bit. The point is that it gives you a script to follow, so you know what you want to say. But as needed, you can pull in jargon or other facts that are tailored to the listener.
If you want to network but are nervous about meeting new people, here are 8 ways to approach strangers at networking events.
Have a Business Card Ready
Last but not least, have your business card ready. At the end of the conversation, offer it as a way to keep the dialogue going.
If you are at a job fair, a resume would be appropriate.
Your Secret Weapon Is Your Elevator Pitch
There you have it! Now you know how to draft and deliver a killer elevator pitch.
Remember, as your goals and experience change; you may need to update it once in a while.
Are you ready to leverage your elevator pitch for ultimate business networking? Find out how Introducing Me membership plans can help you get there.