The Elevator Pitch

“Going up, anyone?”

A few words on the art of the Elevator Pitch. It’s a good exercise for any business especially before you embark on marketing and promotion. What exactly is your business about?

First, imagine you’ve taken the lift/elevator (because the stairs are broken ha) and you are in there with the investor or future client of your dreams – who will giving you their undivided attention for 30-60 seconds tops before the doors open and they’re gone.

Write and rehearse your pitch. Update it often! Try it out whenever someone asks you ‘what do you do then?’

Here’s 10 top tips to consider:

1. Be mindful of your audience. Many people are really tired of words like ‘passionately, engagement, leverage, paradigm, envisioning, authentic’ and many other current buzz words.

2. Try it out on someone who doesn’t know your business and ask them if they understand what you’re saying.

3. Pose the pitch as a simple solution to a problem.

4. Smile as you speak. It really makes a difference.

5. Be prepared for questions so that you don’t get flustered or annoyed when the questions come.

6. Don’t blag, brag or exaggerate. Personally I am not a fan of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ pitching. But do know your numbers if you are after an investor.

7. Don’t make it sound like it’s you the lone genius against the world. Make sure that it’s about the brilliant team who’ve helped you all the way (and then you’ll come across as a person people want to work with).

8. Breathe. Deeply.

9. Remember – speech is about three words a second. So get your pitch in at well under 100 words.

10. Don’t film yourself but do record your voice in practice runs. It helps to know how your voice sounds to others (because if you want people to listen they’ll need to like the sound of it.)

Even if you never get to deliver your elevator pitch in a spontaneous situation, having one provides your business with a crucial test which is that if you can’t summarise in clear language what you are doing in under 100 words you need to take stock and rethink things.

Keep it simple – in business and in life – is wise advice I’ve learned from others.

What tips would you add?

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