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How High Will Your Elevator Pitch Take You?

Imagine this. You’re on the ground floor of a 10 storey building waiting for the elevator to come and pick you up. The doors open, you walk in and so does the ideal client/ perfect boss/partner of your dreams. You have 30 seconds between now and the 10th floor, where coincidentally you’re both heading, to sell yourself. Why does this person need you in their lives? Why are your goods or services something they can’t live without? Why are you the best candidate for the job they have going? Why are you [insert whatever it is you’re trying to convince someone of]?

Usually, it’s in these sought after moments we find ourselves freezing. We scramble for words, blurt out something standard and cliche and generally fail to put our best foot forward.

Here’s where an elevator pitch comes in. An elevator pitch is a clear, concise and convincing introduction to yourself and your business which can you deliver in 30 seconds or less. 

Spoiler alert: It’s not just for elevators. It works for social functions, job interviews, networking opportunities, and yes, even a quick and convincing answer to your potential father-in-law’s probing questions too.

Here are some key pointers to consider when crafting your own elevator pitch:

 

1. Prepare more than one.

Trying to condense everything you want to say about yourself and your business into just a few sentences is near on impossible. You’re best to have a couple of variations up your sleeve, which you can target to different audiences. Your potential leads, clients and influencers will have different needs, so prepare a few targeted pitches that highlight relevant key messages.

2. Mix up the lengths.

Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of 30 seconds. Prepare yourself 5 second and 15-second versions to use when you need to act super fast.  

3. Cut the jargon.

Jargon is a sure-fire way to elicit eye-rolls and lose your audience. Use language that helps you connect to the person you’re talking to. Keep it simple, friendly and inclusive.

4. Grab attention.

Show your value by highlighting what makes you and/or your business unique. You need to be different to be memorable.

5. Solve your listener’s problem. 

Your elevator pitch must be relatable to the person you’re pitching to. Use your pitch to describe the problem your customer/dream boss/perfect match has, and then explain how you can solve it simply.

6. Engage your audience. 

Delivering your pitch is one thing. Engage the listener is another. Consider ending your pitch with a question to keep the conversation going.

7. Prepare to answer questions.

Make sure you are prepared for the questions you could get after delivering your pitch. If you are successful in getting the engagement you seek,  you need to be able to back up your claim.

8. Practice your delivery.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so practice, practice, practice your pitch. This way, when your chance to deliver it comes, it’ll roll off the tongue and you’ll come across as natural and polished.

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