The world of business moves quickly and you may have less than 60 seconds to make an impression that lasts. Enter the elevator pitch, so named to reflect the short period of time it takes to travel between floors. It’s a short and impactful summary intended to communicate the most important details of you or your business and capture the attention of your boss, an executive or potential investor. To ensure you’re making the most of every opportunity, check out these seven tips to create and deliver a perfect, powerful business pitch.
A positive, energetic disposition is key to creating a great first impression, so make sure you’re ready to go by eating a healthy, nutritious breakfast. It’s tempting to grab a quick snack or skip the meal altogether, but that’s a sure recipe for sagging willpower and energy levels. Stay fueled up with a meal of lean proteins and healthy carbs that’ll leave you feeling confident and ready to impress.
An elevator pitch is not intended as an advertisement, nor is it a call for help. Instead, hook your target by framing your pitch as an opportunity. If you’d like someone to engage with you and your business, treat them as a potential partner and offer a compelling case that working together can be mutually beneficial.
Perhaps more than anything else, the key to a great elevator pitch is ruthless efficiency. Don’t get bogged down with extraneous details and technical jargon. Carefully consider every word that you add to your pitch and ensure that it serves a direct purpose. Remember that the end goal is to quickly communicate your business vision in less than one minute and inspire a desire to find out more.
Your words are essential, but they only represent a small portion of your pitch. A beautifully worded pitch delivered without joy is bound to land with a thud, but kindling enthusiasm and anticipation is a surefire way to keep your message lodged in the front of a potential investor’s mind. Use your pitch as a chance to share your passion. Practice delivering it in a way that conveys your excitement and conviction.
The business world is rife with banal buzzwords and overused execuspeak. Scrap these canned clichés and set yourself apart by crafting a wholly original speech that highlights what makes you and your business unique. To ensure that your speech flows naturally and doesn’t sound like a soulless infomercial, have someone read it aloud to you and keep an ear out for any words or phrases that sound overly trite or formal.
Assuming you’ve managed to hook your listeners effectively, the next step is to demonstrate legitimacy and build some real excitement. Have you recently won a prestigious award or graduated from a premier business school? Work those details into your brief message, along with any other outstanding accomplishments that speak to your business bona fides. It’s also a good idea to provide a bit of financial background. Inform your listeners that you’ve identified a monetary target and you’re working to secure the funding you need for your venture. If it’s relevant to your industry, you may also wish to work in a mention of your follower count on social media.
After you’ve done the dirty work of making your pitch, be sure to close with some conversation. Remember that the goal of an effective business pitch is to create a connection, and the quickest way to do that is to find common ground with your audience upon which to begin building a relationship. Let others talk and take a genuine interest in what they have to say, paying particular attention to shared interests and aspirations. Follow up by asking insightful questions, and remember—you can never go amiss with a few kind words!
Summarizing your business venture and capturing the interest of your audience in the span of 30 to 60 seconds is no small task, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. Armed with the tips above, and some Toastmasters confidence, you can craft a perfect pitch that’s sure to drum up interest and leave an impression on your listeners.
Beth Kotz is a contributing writer to Credit.com. She specializes in financial advice for female entrepreneurs, college students and recent graduates. She earned a degree in Communications and Media from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where she continues to live and work.