What is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a brief and memorable description of your company and its products or services. It's called an elevator pitch because it should be concise enough to be delivered during a short elevator ride, capturing the attention of the listener quickly. The goal of an elevator pitch is not to close a deal but to earn a second conversation or further engagement with the person you're speaking to.
Where did the term ‘Elevator Pitch’ come from?
The term 'Elevator Pitch' originated from the idea that the pitch should be concise enough to be delivered within the span of an elevator ride. The concept of the elevator pitch dates back to the early days of Hollywood, where aspiring screenwriters would aim to capture the attention of producers or executives during a brief elevator ride. They had a short window of time to pitch their movie idea in a compelling and concise manner. Over time, the term 'Elevator Pitch' became popularized and expanded to encompass any brief and persuasive presentation that can be delivered in a short timeframe, such as 30 to 60 seconds.
When and How to Use an Elevator Speech
Knowing when and how to use your elevator pitch is crucial for making a lasting impression and seizing opportunities. Here are some key situations where you can effectively utilise your elevator speech:
Job Fairs and Career Expos: Utilise your elevator pitch to introduce yourself to employers and hiring managers at job fairs and career expos. It's an impactful way to quickly showcase your skills and qualifications and make a positive impression.
Online Presence: Incorporate your elevator pitch into your LinkedIn summary, Twitter bio, or other professional online profiles. This allows potential employers or connections to get a concise overview of your background and expertise.
Networking Events and Mixers: Take advantage of networking events by sharing your elevator pitch with new acquaintances. It helps you quickly communicate who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to the table.
Professional Association Programs: When attending industry-related events or programs, have your elevator pitch ready to introduce yourself to fellow professionals. It's an effective way to spark conversations and establish connections.
How to Write an Elevator Pitch
Step 1: Define your objective
Start by clarifying the purpose of your elevator pitch. Determine what you want to achieve with it. Are you trying to introduce yourself, pitch your business, or promote a specific product or service? Having a clear objective will help you craft a focused and targeted pitch.
Step 2: Identify who is it for
Consider who your pitch is aimed at. Is it potential clients, investors, colleagues, or industry professionals? Understanding your audience's needs, interests, and pain points will allow you to tailor your pitch to resonate with them.
Step 3: Start with a hook
Begin your elevator pitch with a strong and attention-grabbing opening statement. This should be a compelling hook that sparks curiosity and prompts the listener to want to hear more. It could be a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, or a compelling anecdote.
Step 4: Values and mission statements
Clearly communicate the unique value or benefits your product, service, or company offers. What is the mission and vision of your company? Focus on how it solves a problem, fulfils a need, or provides a significant advantage. Make it clear why your target audience should be interested in what you have to offer.
Step 5: Provide Statistics and proofs
Support your value proposition with evidence or examples that demonstrate the effectiveness or success of your product or service. This could be in the form of testimonials, case studies, or specific results achieved by your clients or customers. Concrete examples make your pitch more credible and compelling. Give numbers and statistics.
Step 6: Keep it concise and focused
Remember that an elevator pitch should be concise and to the point. Ideally, it should last around 30 seconds or less, capturing the listener's attention without overwhelming them with too much information. Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or technical terms that may confuse your audience.
Step 7: Edit and refine
Once you have written your elevator pitch, revise and edit it. Rehearse it until you can comfortably deliver it in a natural and engaging manner. Pay attention to your tone, body language, and pacing. Seek feedback from others and refine your pitch based on their input.
Step 8: Customise as per needs
Tailor your elevator pitch to fit different scenarios and audiences. Adapt your pitch to the specific needs and interests of the listener. This shows that you have done your research and makes your pitch more relevant and engaging.
Step 9: End with a call to action
Conclude your elevator pitch with a clear call to action. This could be a request for a follow-up meeting, or an opportunity to learn more. Encourage them to take the next step and continue the conversation.
Step 10: Iterate and improve
Continuously review and refine your elevator pitch based on feedback, outcomes, and evolving circumstances. Be open to making adjustments as you learn more about what resonates with your audience and what doesn't.
What mistakes to avoid
Being Too Technical or Jargon-heavy: Avoid using technical language or industry jargon that may confuse or alienate your audience. Keep your pitch simple and easy to understand, focusing on the value your company provides rather than getting into complex details.
A lot of Information: An elevator pitch should be concise and to the point. Avoid overwhelming your audience with too much information about your company's products, services, or history. Stick to the most important and compelling aspects that will pique their interest.
Lack of Differentiation: Your elevator pitch should clearly communicate what sets your company apart from competitors. Avoid generic or vague statements that don't highlight your unique value proposition. Clearly articulate what makes your company special and why customers should choose you.
Focusing Only on Features: While it's important to mention what your company offers, avoid solely focusing on product or service features. Instead, emphasize the benefits and outcomes that your offerings bring to customers. Focus on how your solutions solve problems or meet specific needs.
Neglecting the Target Audience: Tailoring your elevator pitch to the specific needs and interests of your target audience is crucial. Avoid delivering a generic pitch that doesn't resonate with the listener. Research your audience beforehand and address their pain points or goals directly.
Lack of Clarity and Purpose: Your elevator pitch should have a clear and compelling message. Avoid vague or convoluted statements that may confuse the listener. Clearly articulate the problem you solve, the value you provide, and the impact your company can make.
An elevator pitch for your company is important and helpful for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to quickly and succinctly communicate your company's value proposition, which is essential for capturing the attention of potential clients, investors, or partners. By crafting a compelling elevator pitch, you can effectively convey what sets your company apart from competitors and why someone should be interested in what you have to offer.
Secondly, an elevator pitch helps in building connections and making a strong first impression. When introducing your company at networking events, career fairs, or professional gatherings, a well-crafted pitch enables you to engage with others and initiate meaningful conversations. It serves as a conversation starter, opening doors for further discussions, collaborations, or business opportunities.
Lastly, an elevator pitch provides clarity and focus to your company's messaging. By distilling your company's core values, unique selling points, and key benefits into a concise pitch, you gain a deeper understanding of your business and its value proposition. This clarity not only helps you articulate your company's mission and goals, but it also enhances your overall communication strategy, making it easier to attract and retain customers, investors, and talent.