“It’s a pitch that is brief and powerful enough to change a person's mind during a short, one-minute elevator ride.”
This quote from K-Drama Start-Up captures the whole idea of an Elevator Speech so well we cannot resist mentioning it here. Most of the time, it is not easy to pitch new ideas to executives, clients, or team members. There are always obstacles and complications that make communication hard and sometimes unclear. Sometimes it takes hours and hundreds of slides to explain just one idea, to be responded with “so, what EXACTLY do you do?”, shooketh!
We believe that it doesn't take long at all to change a person's mind. One minute is all it takes. We will help fix your speech with Elevator Pitch Techniques from our CEO Jean-Pierre.
What is an Elevator Speech?
An elevator speech, elevator pitch, or elevator statement is a short explanation of an idea you have about a project, product, or your company that captures the concept in a short period of time.
It’s called an elevator pitch because it delivers the whole thing in just a short elevator ride, one to no more than three minutes at maximum. Let’s say you want to pitch an idea to your clients. The CEO is so busy that he has no time even to open your email. The only time you can explain the whole situation is when you ride the elevator together, so you need to make the best of that short minutes.
Now that we know what it is, let see how you can improve.
"It’s called an elevator pitch because it delivers the whole thing in just a short elevator ride."
Elevator Pitch Techniques
So first, we need to define the problems that make your speech too long and, dare I say, boring. It could take some time to get the hang of it. You might have to go through many versions before ending up with one that is compelling and memorable enough. Try out these steps to create a great pitch.
Know your goal
Before planning your speech, you need to know what you will be talking about. Do you want to tell your client about an amazing idea for a new product? Do you want to explain what your company does? Get it right and keep it in mind before going on to the next steps.
Explain What You Do
Start your speech by explaining what you and your company do. Tell them how you can help solve problems for people. Talk about detailed information or statistics that bring value to what you say. Or simply start by asking yourself: what do you want the listener to remember about you?
Describe Your USP
Don’t forget to talk about your unique selling proposition (USP). It is something that makes you unique. Sometimes just knowing what you do is just not enough, they want to know what makes you stand out from the crowd.
Throw Engaging Questions
After describing your USP, you need to make your listener feel engaged. Throw some open-ended questions that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no” to keep them involved in the conversation. And likewise, prepare answers for any questions your listener might throw back at you.
Rearrange your Pitch
After you’ve completed all the details you want to include, put it all together in your own words. Once that’s done, read it out and try using a stopwatch to track how long it takes. As we said, it shouldn’t be longer than 1 minute, otherwise you could lose the person’s interest. Cut out anything that you don’t really need to include. Keep it short and engaging.
Practice Makes Perfect
How you deliver your speech is just as important as what you say. Without practice, you are likely to talk either too fast or too slow, sound unnatural, or slip your mind on important details of your pitch. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Set a goal to practice your speech, until it sounds like a smooth conversation, not a hard sale advertisement.
Be aware of your body language as you talk. You convey as much information through your body as much as through words. Try practicing your pitch in front of a mirror, or your colleagues until your body feels natural.
At the end of the day, once you get comfortable with your pitch, it’s okay to finetune it a little. Keep the main idea but change some wordings to make it a little more natural.
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