How to create a killer elevator pitch!

Can YOU make a good impression in 60 seconds?

Even though I hate the term ‘elevator pitch’ everyone knows what it means - so I’m going to use it until I can find a better one!

A ‘killer’ elevator pitch will have you catching the attention of your audience in less than 30 seconds. Mind you, an elevator pitch is not just for business people looking for potential clients. It is a useful tool for young job seekers, employees transitioning to new industries and those who are exploring new opportunities.

Sadly, while there have been plenty of written guidelines to help craft a killer elevator pitch, most people still get it wrong! Remember, an elevator pitch is supposed to get people interested in you or open the door to more meaningful communication with your audience.

So, if you get it wrong, you may lose a really important opportunity. I know of one business person whose elevator pitch captivated his potential investor for a new business idea at a wedding. He got the funding and he now has a highly successful business.

So, why do you need an elevator pitch?

While we live in an age where face to face connections seem to take second place to online connections, they still have more influence and long term impact. It doesn’t matter wither you are attend a conference or a trade show, a wedding or a music festival, you want to make sure that the people you connect with remember who you are!

Two essential before you start your elevator pitch

You only have a short time to deliver your winning message so before you get started there are  two very important guidelines to remember:

  1. Stop talking about your past achievements and focus on what you want to do now and in future. If they want to know your credentials they will ask!
  2. Your aim is not to close a sale or get a job offer but to compel the person (or people) in front of you to continue the conversation.

How do you prepare an elevator pitch?

There are zillions of scripts, guides and workshops to help you prepare your 60 second elevator pitch. I selected the 9 C’s for this blog to help clarify the key points;

  • Concise: use as few words as possible.
  • Clear: use simple, layman’s language avoiding all acronyms or jargon.
  • Compelling: your core message will show how you, or your idea, can help them.
  • Credible: explain what makes you qualified to deliver the solution.
  • Conceptual: your goal is to leave an impression (of what you or your service / product can do) so maintain clarity by avoiding unnecessary details.
  • Customise: you will meet different kinds of audience so tailor your pitch to each listener e.g. if you both work within the same industry / role then you can use specific jargon / terms.
  • Consistent: however, the core message should be the same for all audiences i.e. who you are, what you can offer, and how you can help.
  • Conversational: make a compelling and authentic impression and avoid sounding rehearsed.

Your goal is to engage with the person (or people) in front of you. Start off strong, to capture their attention, and back it up with evidence or case studies. Then engage them by asking a question that will relate back to your product or service.

If you have an elevator pitch that has helped you get some traction in your work or life, and you would like to share, send it through to My Working Life - we’d like to compile some gapped examples to inspire others.