What does your company do? Why are you better than your competitors? Dazzle me with your answer before I get off this elevator on the fifth floor.
The elevator pitch, so named because it should take you no longer than the average elevator ride to deliver, is your opportunity to captivate your audience. While this sounds fairly simple, it can be complex to sum up your mission passionately and succinctly. That’s why a well-crafted elevator pitch is handy, if not essential.
If you don’t have one, create one. If you do have one, revisit it frequently to keep it evolving with your brand. Some guidelines:
- Start with the main point you want your audience to remember.
- Think of your pitch as a conversation starter. You don’t want to say too much or too little.
- Highlight what makes your company unique.
- Create messaging tailored to each of your target audiences.
- Make sure your pitch feels natural – you don’t want to seem insincere.
- Engage the listener(s) with a question.
As you craft your elevator pitch, think of people you’ve met who have evoked excitement in you and others by simply talking about their work. Chances are, they had a well-crafted elevator pitch. Take cues from these people. What was it about their pitch that left an impression? How can you incorporate some of those elements into your own pitch?
Design a pitch that highlights your own strengths and the strengths of your company. Employ a conversational tone so you don’t sound like you are reciting from a set of notecards, and allow for variations – it doesn’t have to be exactly the same every time.
Your engaging question should be relevant to the solution your company provides. If you design websites for professional services, you could ask, “Does your company’s website incorporate a blog and calendar to keep subscribers up-to-date with your events and industry events?” With that one question, you have shown that you understand what they do and suggested that your company could offer a unique solution to that problem.
Test your pitch on coworkers, friends and family, then use their feedback to fine tune your pitch, and keep practicing. The more you practice your elevator pitch, the more confident and natural you will be.
Resources about developing an elevator pitch: