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Perfecting your elevator pitch

5 minute read

 

The Elevator Pitch – What is it? 

An elevator pitch is a sixty-second description of what you do and why someone should buy from you or work with you. (Also known as 'in a nutshell' pitching.)

Here's how to craft the perfect elevator pitch when you find yourself face-to-face with, say, the CEO of your dream company, or a hiring manager.

Your Elevator Pitch should be: 

  • CONCISE – lasting no more than sixty seconds 
  • SIMPLE – using plain English and no jargon 
  • MEMORABLE – attention grabbing! 
  • VISUAL - use words that create an image  
  • A STORY – someone has a problem, they come to you and you fix it 
  • GOAL ORIENTATED – depending on your desired outcome you may want it to create a sale, earn a referral or gain support for a cause 
  • RELATABLE - strikes a cord with your listeners

How to prepare your pitch:

  • Write a sentence about who you are.  
  • Write two sentences under that describing what you do/will do (use your product/service description to give you a few ideas or simply write about what you do on your normal working day).
  • Write about who your ideal clients or customers are (but be mindful of the audience you are/maybe pitching to).
  • Explain what is unique and different about you and your business in one or two sentences.
  • State what you would like to happen next for example: “I would like to arrange a time to talk with you each individually to see how I can help you to develop your business” or “ I would like to be put in touch with any of your clients who have a budget of more than £2k for events." 
  • Create an attention-grabbing hook in one to two sentences that will be memorable or capture the mind/heart of your audience. For example: “Do you often dream of running your own business? Creating something that’s all yours and where you only have yourself to answer to?” 

Now put this altogether not necessarily in this order.  It may take several drafts before you feel it is just right. It should be between 150 – 250 words.   

Here are three examples of different ways to deliver your pitch: 

  • Example 1 – The Financial Adviser

“Let me give you an example. I met someone at a party recently who was in so much debt he admitted that he was having trouble keeping up with his mortgage repayments. As a result of my free consultation, I was able to consolidate his debt so he now has more monthly disposable income and can sleep better at night.  My name is Sharon Philips and a great referral for me is someone who is having trouble paying their bills.” 

  • Example 2 – The Interior Designer

“I work with people who are renovating their kitchens. I handmake kitchen cabinets in a limed oak finish.  If you are wondering what that would look like, please come and ask me later to see an example.  My name is Peter Green of Oak Bespoke and I build oak kitchens.” 

  • Example 3 – The Website Designer

“The Big Time Jazz Club came to me recently because their old website held dynamic data about their rehearsal and concert schedules, and they needed their website designer to make the updates every time the schedule changed. I created a new website and now the band leaders can make the changes themselves, saving them both time and money.  My name is Fiona Jackson of Simple Sites and if you can use a computer, then I can show you how you can easily update your own website.” 

Top Tips: 

  • Memorise your pitch.
  • Practice your pitch in a safe environment.
  • Test your pitch on people you know.
  • Avoid Industry Jargon.

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