Developing an Effective Elevator Pitch

Whether you’re networking, raising capital, or simply explaining what you do to an old friend you bumped into at the airport, an effective elevator pitch is a must-have for every business owner or budding entrepreneur.

An “elevator pitch” is essentially a brief and convincing synopsis of a business that’s just long enough to convey a message in the time it takes to travel in an elevator between floors, which is about 20 to 30 seconds give or take.

While most of us realize the importance of having a short and sweet description of our company ready to say at a moment’s notice, many entrepreneurs and business owners never really think about what they say during this brief window of time and whether or not their elevator pitch is clearly communicated and optimized for effectiveness. The key to a strong elevator pitch is being able to grab people’s attention, leave a lasting impression, and make them want to keep talking to you. Let’s take a look at six fundamental steps that will help you do just that.

1. Identify Your Goal

To begin crafting the perfect elevator pitch, you need to first think about your objective. For instance, is the goal of your elevator pitch to tell potential clients about your company? Are you looking for a brief and engaging way to pitch your company to a potential investor? Do you have a great new product that you want to tell people about? Your elevator pitch will ultimately depend on your answers to these questions.

2. Explain What Your Business Does

As a business owner or entrepreneur, your elevator pitch should begin by describing what your company does. When doing so, focus on how you help people and specific problems your business solves. If possible, throw in statistical data showing the definitive value of your business and what you do.

Keep in mind that your pitch should be memorable and leave a positive lasting impression, so it should begin by getting your audience excited about what you’re saying. You shouldn’t go over the top, but enthusiasm is key.

Example: “My company develops software applications used by businesses to remotely train their staff, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced training costs.”

This is interesting and clearly shows the benefits of your business and the value it provides.

3. State Your Unique Selling Proposition

Every elevator pitch should convey a unique selling proposition, or USP. An effective USP should communicate what it is that makes your company unique. This should be done after talking about your business and what it does.

Example: “We implement a unique approach. Unlike other developers, we take great pride in visiting each company to better understand their needs. Thanks to this approach, 98 percent of our clients report being thrilled with their training software.”

4. Boost Engagement with Questions

After you have conveyed your USP, you should prepare several open-ended questions to engage your audience and get them involved in the conversation. Of course, you will need to be prepared to answer any questions they may have as well.

Example: “How does your company train new team members?”

5. Put the Pieces Together

After creating an opening summary, USP, and potential questions to ask, it’s time to put the pieces of the puzzle together. When you’ve done so, read it aloud while timing yourself. Remember, an elevator pitch should take no longer than 20 to 30 seconds. Any longer than that and you may risk monopolizing the conversation or losing the interest of your audience.

Next, try to edit out any unnecessary words in order to make your pitch as brief and compelling as possible. When it comes to elevator pitches, shorter is always sweeter.

Example: “My company develops training software used by businesses to remotely train their staff, resulting in increased efficiency and profits. Unlike other companies, we take the time to personally visit each client to better understand their needs. Thanks to this unique approach, 98 percent of our clients are thrilled with their training software. So, how does your company train new team members?”

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to creating successful elevator pitches as well. Your delivery is just as important as what you say. Without practice, you’ll increase the odds of talking too fast, forgetting important parts, or sounding unnatural.

Therefore, you should make it a goal to regularly practice your elevator pitch. The more you practice it, the better and more natural you’ll become at delivering it. Ultimately, you want your elevator pitch to flow like a conversation and not sound like an overt sales pitch.

When practicing, pay attention to your body language as well. Your body language can say just as much about you as your words, so practice saying your elevator pitch in front of a mirror or other people until it feels natural as can be.

Above all else, remember that an elevator pitch shouldn’t sound like a prepared sales pitch, even though that’s exactly what it is. We can keep that secret to ourselves!

About author

Joseph Brady
Joseph Brady 21 posts

Joseph Brady has been involved in growing businesses since 2004. Focused on improving their marketing efforts both on and offline, he has spent considerable time working as a search engine marketing consultant assisting business increase both the quantity and quality of web traffic.

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