Nailing that elevator pitch

22 Oct, 2018

First impressions last.

Ideally, only about one minute though.

That’s roughly all the time you have to pitch yourself, your business or your idea, and convince someone to become invested or support you. Welcome to the elevator pitch: a short, succinct and effective way to make a good impression and summarise an organisation, product, or service and its value proposition. And it’s all done in the same amount of time as a typical elevator ride.

Here are some tips that will help you get in at the ground floor and take you all the way to the top:

Engage right from the start
The first 20 seconds of your pitch is the most important, so make sure your opening line captures attention. Stand out and be memorable! Just remember, there’s a fine line between memorable and being, well, weird.

Stick to the point
Be clear, concise and identify your goals. Time is of the essence; in fact, noted entrepreneur Richard Branson summed it best: “It is better to say nothing than spend 1000 words or make an hour-long speech saying nothing. Get to the point – fast.”

You also need to tailor your pitch to suit your purpose: read the situation and engage accordingly.

Practice makes perfect
It can be daunting to approach a stranger and pitch an idea. And when we’re nervous, we either get quiet… or we ramble. Neither of which are conducive to a successful elevator pitch. To avoid getting nervous, practise. It’ll ensure that the conversation flows, that you engage properly and that you’re able to cover all the salient points of your pitch.

A successful elevator pitch relies on you being clear, being engaging, being convincing and leaving the other person wanting more. So, plan your pitch, lead with the qualities that make you and it unique and able to solve a defined problem. And most of all, be engaging and be memorable.