Have you perfected your elevator pitch?
It sometimes sounds like an antiquated phrase. I mean – how much time do we spend in elevators these days? Not much, with remote and hybrid work being the norm. However, that does not negate the need for adept messaging on the fly. To be sure, the elevator pitch is very much relevant today… and by the way, always will be. It has just…well, evolved.
Now is a great time to brush up, regroup and get our social groove back, both personally and professionally. Let’s go:
Getting your 30 second speech on point.
While we may felt confident in our business model, skill set and mission, we need LOTS of practice articulating it. Full disclosure? For me personally, the first couple times I totally winged it. I swore they could see me sweating. If I am being honest, sometimes I still stumble. But I don’t mind…because I know I am in the game, which is what matters. Ironically, plugging other businesses can feel more natural…but for ourselves can be an uphill climb. What, therefore, is the key?
The myriad of messaging in modern business is not exclusively in the context of a traditional ‘elevator pitch’. Simply put, communication platforms exist in the 21st Century that previously did not – which require us to further hone our fundamentals.
Let’s go through them:
1. Your motto should be the core of your elevator pitch.
It should state your business purpose in one sentence. Catchy and concise. It should roll off your tongue naturally, be memorable and something you can easily expand upon.
Here are some good ones from businesses you know:
- BMW: “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
- Nike: “Just Do It”
- Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs on Dunkin”
- Apple: “Think Different”
- Capital One: “What’s in Your Wallet?”
You get the picture. You can look up many more for insight and inspiration. Find your nut graf, which one speaks to you and communicates your business, goal, personality and mission clearly.
2. One word should summarize your elevator pitch.
Capture your purpose in one word. For me, it is ‘Fundamentals’. I believe very strongly that in every aspect of life, if fundamentals are not there, there is nothing on which to build the rest of the structure (business, life, relationship). Try to think of one word that captures the essence of your work, and keep it in your back pocket at all times. Think of this as a mantra, something to repeat to yourself, and circle back to at meetings and introductions when you may need re-centering.
If truly authentic, it will intuitively become part and parcel of your personal and professional interactions. Bake it in and make it inexorably yours.
3. Come up with an acronym, rhyme, something catchy and memorable.
Think slogan, but something memorable that you can state conversationally. It makes your message stick in someone’s mind. Pitches that are memorable make the content easier to grasp. “The purpose of the pitch isn’t necessarily to move others to adopt your idea, it’s to offer something so compelling it begins a conversation,” according to New York Times bestselling author, Daniel H. Pink.
Pink cites research that shows pitches that rhyme are memorable and effective. “If you’re one of a series of freelancers invited to make a presentation before a big potential client, including a rhyme allows your message to stick in their minds when they compare you and your competitors.”
4. Think of great Essential Questions.
While networking, don’t rely on others to start a conversation. Consider fundamental yet expansive questions to get the exchange going. People love to talk about themselves, and for good reason…they have worked their tail off and are proud. Practice ambassadorship by lending an ear. Here are some great suggestions:
- How did you get started (or end up) in this line of work?
- What is your core competency?
- Where do you see your business/industry in five years?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What is one thing about your industry you want others to know?
5. Now, hone your message by answering those same questions yourself.
Take the time to consider how you would answer the same questions. Bonus: you are sure to learn something about yourself that helps you hone your own message, and beget empathy towards others on a similar journey. This is the true key to all meaningful interactions.
Were these tips effective and useful for you?
Laura Milo DeAngelis | Owner and Founder | Bergen Concierge Service LLC