We all dream of getting that one opportunity to pitch our ideas and hopes to a key stakeholder or corporate mover and shaker. But for many of us this dream can leave us with sweaty palms and heart palpitations.
The elevator pitch doesn’t have to be in an elevator, and it doesn’t even have to necessarily be a very short meeting. But what is absolutely central to the core of the elevator pitch is getting your message across in such a way that it’s key elements stick in the find and grab the interest of the listener.
With the 5 aspects we outline below, the prospect of pitching your dream will no longer be helf back by fear or nervousness.
1. Grab their attention!
There are two parts to getting this first step right.
First you have to know your business or project. You should know your business better than anyone else so you should also know what the most exciting aspect of it is. What will really stick in their memory? A cast-iron guarantee to raise productivity by 20%?
Secondly, know your audience. Just like you’d tailor you cover letter to be appropriate for different jobs and industries, make sure the intro to your pitch is well-matched to the person you’re dealing with.
2. Be a human
The last thing you want to do is just regurgitate some speech. Keep the tone conversational and relatively informal. As with Step 1, try connect with the person on a human level. Watch their face and see which ideas resonate with them. It’s no good delivering the perfect pitch if it doesn’t match the person you’re talking to.
3. Apply the tweet test
With the remarkable penetration of electronic devices into every aspect of life, you can’t guarantee that you won’t be competing for your audience’s attention with a tablet or a smartphone. Collectively, our attention spans are much shorter than they were, so you really need to make sure you can distil the key kernel of your idea into 140 characters. This should really ensure that you’re idea has maximum potency.
4. Leave room for dialogue
If the person you’re talking to finds what you’re saying interesting, they will naturally have some questions. They may want to drill down into the details of your project or they may have some concerns. Either way it’s really important to leave some natural breathing space in the conversation. Don’t just garble out your words. It’s not a race.
If they have questions, don’t just pat them off like a politician. Nobody wants to be given a glib or rehearsed answer. Really try to engage with the questioner. Understand their concerns. Imagine you were them, what would be your concerns and how would you want them addressed? One last thing. Smile.
If you have found this useful or have your own tips for pitching please feel free to comment and join the conversation.