Claire Duffy's blog about public speaking and communication (in real life). Speak well, do well!
The idea of an elevator pitch is that you propose and sell something (yourself, a project, product, philosophy or concept) in a very short space of time. You may think it’s only important to people in sales, but in fact there are hundreds of occasions – everything from breaking the ice at a cocktail party to performing well in a job search, which need you to communicate a critical message quickly. So, whether it’s a professional, academic, political, philanthropic, or personal setting, an elevator pitch should be part of your communication took-kit.
As with most oral presentations, you need to start with some good clear thinking. Developing an elevator pitch forces you to clarify the essence of your business, philosophy – whatever. It requires you to get to the core – fast. It can take a lot of time, so don’t imagine you will knock this off in a jiffy.
Developing and refining your elevator speech will become an ongoing operation as you try it out and see what works. Once you have an elevator pitch you can edit and rejig and morph your script into a range of versions which suit different occasions.
There are a gazillion examples on YouTube. And I don’t sell stuff, but here are a couple of worthwhile books: How to get your point accross in 30 seconds or less, Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect
Meantime here’s a pretty good method from How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch That Will Land You Big Business.
You want your pitch to stand out and be unique, so give it life and personality by allowing your pitch to paint a picture or tell a story. When delivering it, convey passion and confidence. It really makes a difference when your message has some feeling to it.
If that’s too much torture and trouble for you, you can follow Jim Harvey’s advice:
” I’m not a great fan of the ‘elevator’ because I think even 30-45 seconds is too long when someone’s asked you, usually more out of courtesy, what it is you do. So give it 10 minutes and lets’s see what we can come up with. Take a pen and piece of paper and jot down some first thoughts about
- What your business does at the broadest level.
- A short example of a real life case study and the benefits that has had for the client concerned.
- A simple, truthful thing that makes you different to the competition.”
He got his whole pitch into one sentence: “We help our clients sell more stuff, whatever they do. “
And finally, here’s one from Intel for employees to use,
“Intel, the world’s largest silicon innovator, creates products and technologies that change the way people live, work and play. Whether it’s a mobile lifestyle or a new way to enjoy entertainment at home, Intel is helping people all over the world accomplish things they never before dreamed possible.”
Readers can really help each other – post your elevator pitch in the comments column.