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Effective Elevator Pitch

Effective Elevator Pitch

By: VentureHow Staff Writer

Updated on: May 19, 2021

An effective elevator pitch is a simple but powerful messaging concept that allows you to swiftly communicate the essence of your business to someone else in a short time. The term “elevator pitch” basically defines the length of time you have to relay those details – the period of a typical elevator ride. An elevator pitch has several key benefits to your business and is well worth crafting. Coming up with a concise and easy to understand elevator pitch helps you:

  • Make the most of a brief window of opportunity with a client or investor or anyone that matters to your business
  • Make a great impression; a memorized statement ensures that you always sound professional and pulled together
  • Gives you something to say. Not everyone enjoys meeting new people – if you are shy, tongue tied or introverted, then having a pre-made statement ready to go removes some of the anxiety that can come from having to talk to someone new.

That little statement can have a significant impact, provided you make the most of the time you have and relay your thoughts.

An elevator pitch is a simple but powerful messaging concept that allows you to swiftly communicate the essence of your business to someone else in a short time.

Coming up with an effective elevator pitch that you can rattle off in about a minute or so and swiftly and accurately define your brand (or yourself) to someone you have just met is not easy, but can be done with iterative improvement.

If you’ve already done the homework required to craft a compelling value proposition for your business, you’re already partway there. Your elevator pitch will use some of the same details that you’ve already identified to define your business and your role for anyone who is asking.

How to Craft an Effective Elevator Pitch?

According to business experts at Salisbury University, the ideal elevator pitch is just a few sentences long and relays as much information as possible. You’ll need to take some time to figure out what to include and then to write out and edit your statement down to the bare essentials. The ideal target length for an elevator pitch is about a minute long; that’s about 30-40 written words, so you’ll need to focus your message. What information should you include – and how can you make sure you are delivering it accurately? These tips will help.

What do you do?

What product or service do you sell? The first part of your pitch should adequately define what your key product is.

Who do you help?

Who do you sell to? Who is your target customer? Any market research you’ve done or your unique value proposition should provide this information. At the very least, you should define if you sell to individuals or businesses and what industry you work in.

How do you make money?

Do you sell a product, solve a problem or perform a service? Thinking about these details can help you flesh out your statement.

Who are you?

This one is the personal part of the statement – who you are, what role you play and what you do for your business. You can give your actual title or a quick summary of what you do for your business – this information makes the pitch more personal and allows your unique style and personality to shine through.

Define your Competition or Market Leaders

If you are a rising or relatively unknown company, then identifying your competition or where you want to be can help the listener understand what you do. “We offer a smaller, friendlier, local alternative to Starbucks and serve up fair trade, artisanal food and drinks throughout the day” helps generate an image of your business for the listener.

What do you do Better than the Rest?

Define what makes you stand out – why customers buy from you and what makes your business special.

Close with a Call to Action

What do you want the listener to do? Do you want them to accept a business card – -or give you one of their own? Do you just want to build awareness of what you do? Having an idea of what action you want the listener to take gives you a way to close your message. Having a card at the ready to hand over makes it easy to conclude and expands your network too.

At its most basic, an elevator pitch looks like this:

  • Who we are/what we do
  • What I do for the company
  • Why we stand out
  • Call to action

Write down a response to each of the above points and check to see how long it is. If you’ve come up with 500 words, your pitch is way too long. Edit your pitch to remove extra words, redundancies and anything that does not need to be there. Once you have your pitch to a more manageable length, actually speak it out and time yourself. If you are near or under a minute, you’ve got the right amount of text. If you run past a minute and a half, you’ll need to make a few more cuts.

Once you have the length down, put the piece away for a few days. Revisit it after some time has passed for a fresh read through and to see if you need to prune or refine any part. Once you’re happy with your statement, you’re ready to begin putting it to work for you.

Practice makes Perfect

The time invested in creating this important statement will pay off every time you use your elevator pitch to boost your network and increase your reach.

Writing your statement isn’t enough. Once you’ve crafted it, you need to practice it until you can deliver it naturally and flawlessly. Practice with another person or in front of the mirror and say the whole thing out loud; the more you practice, the more naturally it will flow, and the better you’ll do when you deliver an effective elevator pitch.

Once you craft your message, you won’t have to change it up unless you make drastic changes to your business. The time invested in creating an effective elevator pitch will pay off every time you use your elevator pitch.

Have you created a compelling elevator pitch for your small business?

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