Ready to Craft Your Elevator Pitch?
Our local Women’s Business Center is about to hold our final session for the Ms. Biz. Program for new business owners. Their final meeting is a presentation about their business and their elevator speech/pitch. Many of them have very straight forward jobs that make an elevator pitch easy, i.e. She’s a licensed real estate broker in Iron County Utah specializing in Commercial Property.
For the rest of us it’s not that easy. We have unique businesses that answer questions and solve specific problems. And how you fashion an elevator pitch with those unique duties can be confusing and a challenge.
What is an elevator pitch?
As the coach for the program, I usually get asked “What is an elevator pitch?”
According to Wikipedia – “An elevator pitch, speech, or statement, is a short description of an idea, product or company that explains the concept in a way that any listener can understand in a short period of time”. That period of time would be 30 seconds or less, thus the time it might take to travel on an elevator.
Usually, the pitch (speech) is in response to the question “What do you do?” by a stranger passing the time. The pitch needs to be unique enough to inspire the stranger to reply, “tell me more”.
There are several stories on how this concept started, but the main take away should be that everyone needs an elevator pitch. Whether you are a stay at home mom or head of an obscure Fortune 500 Company no one seems to have heard of, you need to be able to answer the question with a simple, direct answer.
Elements of the Pitch
The first two sentences of any elevator pitch are the most important and should have a hook that grabs the listeners’ attention. “Hubspot” has a great article “10 Elevator Pitch Examples to Inspire Your Own” by Aja Frost.
Their definition is pretty much the same, except they are much clearer about having a goal to earn a second conversation. And they recommend “keeping your elevator pitch goal-oriented”.
They offer 5 questions you need to write about before you try and write your pitch.
- Who are you?
- What does your company do?
- What’s your value proposition?
- How will you grab their attention?
- Have you read and edited the pitch?
Loglines for clarity
Carmine Gallo wrote about “Loglines” in her article for Harvard Business Review, October 2018. She recommends using loglines. Like other approaches, the logline method is simple and memorable. A link to her article is included in the Resources section at the end of this post.
I have a logline but didn’t know that’s what it was called until I read her article. I’m delighted to use it the way she explains.
Templates from Huffington Post
Zety, CPRW, Michael Tomaszewski, updated his post this past October and included templates for semi-formal conversations, job interviews, or pitching your business ideas.
It’s not as detailed as Hubspots, but the templates are excellent. You should take the time to visit all the articles through the Resources section.
Regardless of the method or template you use, there are three things can make your elevator speech memorable.
First, write down your goals and be sure your pitch addresses them along with the problems you hope to solve. If the focus isn’t clear the listener won’t know what to ask and a second conversation probably won’t happen.
Second, Write you pitch in the tone and with the words you use everyday in your business. Simple, conversational language should convey the message quickly and clearly.
Third, Have a tagline/logline and make it the last words they hear before they ask for more. Have more ready but keep it simple. You want a second conversation to discuss their needs before you put out your offer. Find a way to leave them with a hook.
I hope you’ll read the articles I’ve referenced, and they have helped you writing your pitch.
Thanks for reading. Until next time - - -