“So what do you do?”
This seems like a very easy question to answer, but many business professionals still find it hard to summarize their life’s work into a few short sentences. Anybody who’s asking you this question only has a few moments to spare before losing interest or being preoccupied with something else. In that crucial time, you have to be able to sell your company (or yourself!) in the best way possible and secure a follow-up meeting with the potential client.
This is where the elevator pitch comes in, a way to introduce your company and the work that you do whenever and to whomever – whether it’s a client, employer, or investor – all in a matter of seconds. Let’s talk about what an elevator pitch is, what you should include when writing an elevator pitch, and how to best give an elevator pitch to convert and get results.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch, or elevator speech, is a brief speech that you give to introduce something (your company, a product, a service, or even you!) and spark interest in the listener. It is meant to be persuasive, and a successful pitch typically leads to a follow-up meeting where you can talk about what you’re selling with more depth.
How long should an elevator pitch be? The idea behind is that your speech must be short enough that you can get your point across to someone quickly, even while you’re in an elevator ride. This usually means keeping the full elevator pitch between 20 and 30 seconds.
In the business world, elevator pitches are used by different people on various occasions, such as the following:
- By business owners, to convince and convert potential clients and customers;
- By entrepreneurs, to pitch a business venture to investors and venture capitalists; and
- By job seekers, to introduce themselves to colleagues and potential employers.
What is not an elevator pitch?
It is important to remember that an elevator pitch is simply a concise summary of your company or your service. It is not a full speech and it is not meant to elaborate on all the facets of your company. There’s only so much you can do in 30 seconds, and your main goal is to draw attention and to persuade given the set amount of time. Any detailed introduction to the company comes after a successful elevator pitch.
How to write an elevator pitch: 5 key components
Everybody has their own format and style of writing, but here are 5 things that must always be included when crafting an elevator pitch.
- Basic information
By basic information, we do mean sticking to the basics. This includes your and your company’s name, and the product or service that you’re promoting. You can use this as your opening line, or you can mention it after the problem by combining it when talking about the solution.
- The problem
Any good business model must have a problem that they are trying to solve. And mentioning this problem is what hooks your listener to pay attention, especially if it’s something that they know all too well. Focus only on one main problem, and lay it down in such a way that it’s relatable.
- The solution, from your company.
Following the problem, immediately lead into what your company is doing to help solve the problem. Highlight the product that you’re selling, and mention the benefits that they can expect to receive. Remember to use accessible language (not industry jargon) so that it’s easy to understand.
- Your value proposition
Make your elevator pitch more persuasive by setting your company apart from others. Bring up your company’s unique selling proposition, or USP, and emphasize why they must choose you over market competitors.
- Call to action
At the end of the day, your elevator speech’s goal is to initiate a favorable response from your listeners. You can secure this with a call to action, a prompt for them to respond quickly. Be clear and direct, and be ready to hand over a business card if warranted.
Here’s an example of an elevator pitch containing all of the 5 key components. For this example, you are using an elevator pitch to sell a new design software targeted towards businesses.
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How to Present an Elevator Pitch
Crafting an elevator pitch is one thing, but giving one in the real world is another. Here are some tips you can use when you make an elevator pitch presentation (be it in PowerPoint or Google Slides) to best present your speech and get your point across.
Use an elevator pitch PowerPoint template to save time
Not all instances call for a visual aid, but in the times that you can, using a Powerpoint presentation alongside your elevator pitch can hammer down your message more effectively for your listeners. We have a curated list of elevator pitch PowerPoint templates that you can use on your next pitching opportunity.
Delivering an elevator pitch is all about confidence. Be aware of your body language, and maintain your voice modulation to be friendly yet firm. And don’t forget to smile!
Constant practice is what makes you prepared and confident. Aside from practicing on your own, also consider joining elevator pitch competitions to hone your skills.
Personalize your pitch depending on your audience.
It’s good to have one general elevator pitch template that you can use for different occasions. But tweak it a little bit every time to fit the needs of the listener and better express your message.
Be prepared, but still personable.
It’s good to be prepared and know exactly what you want to say, but don’t memorize it word-for-word, or else you’re going to sound distant and robotic. Always infuse your elevator pitch with a human side, and don’t forget to interact with your listener.
An elevator pitch is a powerful way to spark interest in your company, and as a business professional, you will be needing to draft one on various occasions. Creating an impactful elevator pitch is easier than it looks, but it requires practice and hard work. With our guide, some practice runs, and necessary resources, you will be pitching like a pro in no time.