Like most other communication, keep your business pitch simple, informative and fun.
The ‘elevator pitch’, the ’60-second pitch’, it does not really matter what you call it; the task in hand is to get an effective message over to your audience in a short amount of time.
The idea of an ‘elevator pitch’ stems from the notion of getting in to an elevator on the top floor with someone important to you and that you have been wanting to meet for a long time. You then have a finite amount of uninterrupted time before the elevator or lift reaches the ground-floor.
Your message needs to be short and effective.
Why is your business pitch so important?
First impressions can be lasting, for better or for worse. When delivered properly, your pitch is a powerful tool that highlights the unique aspects of you or your business, while paving the way for questions and further conversation.
Great connections are made face-to-face and often the best are not planned. A well-practised pitch will ensure that you are prepared to make the most from that connection. However, remember your goal is not to close a sale – be prepared to help your audience to understand what you are about, and what you can do for them.
Where do you start?
Put yourself in the position of your listener, and talk about how you offer a solution to a problem without going in to great detail. Leave openings for questions and to encourage engagement.
Offer the solution now and the detail later. It can be harder than you first think, but here are a few pointers to get you started:
Be concise – your business pitch should normally take no longer than 30-60 seconds.
Be clear – use language that everyone understands. Do not use fancy words or jargon thinking it will make you sound smarter. Your listener may not understand you, and you will have lost your opportunity to hook them.
Be powerful and memorable – use words that are powerful and strong without being over the top! Use words that create a visual image in your listeners’ mind – this will make your message memorable.
Listen – listen to the other person. It is not only polite, it can help you understand them and tailor your pitch to them.
Tell a story – a short story that is! It makes your pitch much more personal and engaging.
Target your pitch – a great elevator pitch is aimed for a specific audience. If you have target audiences that are vastly different, you might want to have a unique pitch for each.
Stay goal oriented – a good elevator pitch is designed with a specific outcome in mind. What is your desired outcome? You may have different pitches depending on different objectives. For instance, do you want to: arrange a meeting, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, or earn a referral?
Have a hook – this is the element that literally snags your listener’s interest and make them want to know more. This is the phrase or few words that strike a chord with your listener.
Closure or ‘call to action’ – make sure you are both aware of the next step e.g. arranging a meeting.
Show the features and benefits – talk about the benefits of what you are offering to the audience, not just what you do.
Be natural – a well-rehearsed pitch means you won’t come across like you are reading it from a script.
Have fun and remember, practice makes perfect!