There may be some debate around whether or not the term “elevator pitch” is still relevant, especially in light of current blended and remote work environments. Regardless of what you call it, if you are in business, you should have an elevator pitch, or an abbreviated version of what you and your company do, at your fingertips to utilize at a moment’s notice. You never know when an opportunity to make the case for yourself or your company may present itself. The idea of an elevator pitch is you should be able to convey the compelling information about yourself and your company in the short period of time it takes to ride an elevator from the ground floor to the top floor.
Other than riding on elevators, especially now with so many people working remotely, there are several situations when you might need to give an elevator pitch:
- You’re at a wedding, social event, or Zoom catch up call with old friends and someone asks, “So, what do you do?”
- After you’ve given your full presentation, a potential client introduces you to their superior and asks you to give a summary of your presentation.
- Your originally scheduled meeting time of a half hour gets cut to just a few minutes.
- A seat mate on an airplane or commuter train asks what you do.
Any number of opportunities could occur where you want to tell your story. The key to any elevator pitch is to give enough information without rambling or going into too much detail. You should also end with an invitation to continue the discussion.
Strive to make your elevator pitch:
- Clear - it should be easy to understand
- Concise - brief and to the point
- Compelling - convinces the other person to continue the conversation
Having a concise sentence or two to intrigue the other person when he or she asks, “What do you do?” can be invaluable. For example, I once boarded a plane for a flight home after two days of leading training classes. I was tired and just wanted to relax and unwind. I was hoping the seat next to me would remain vacant, but it wasn’t. A gentleman settled in next to me and asked me what I did for a living. I responded with, “I teach people to speak as well as they think.” His eyes widened and a smile crept across his face. That one sentence about what I did for a living turned into a two-hour discussion about the company I worked for and how we help people in a wide variety of industries become better communicators in their presentations, whether face-to-face, virtually, or over the phone. This one conversation, kicked off with my elevator pitch, led to doing business with this man's company.
I can’t stress enough the importance of having an elevator pitch ready when an opportunity presents itself. Don’t just write one then forget about it. Practice saying it out loud. Record yourself and listen to how it sounds from a listener’s perspective. Does it sound flat with no enthusiasm or emotion? Does it say what you and/or your company does? Does it make them ask you for more information?
By having an elevator pitch that concisely tells people what you do, you’ll be ready to take advantage of those unexpected opportunities when they arise.
For more information on creating an elevator pitch and how to deliver it successfully, please visit Communispond’s website at www.communispond.com and check out our courses for communicating in-person, virtually, or over the phone.