Tips for Creating + Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch
If you’ve never given an elevator pitch, then you’re likely paralyzed by the thought. I know I was (and still am even though I’ve given a few). Giving an elevator pitch can induce the same amount of anxiety as giving a speech in your college oral communications class — except the stakes are higher. Despite the high-pressure situation, it is possible to prepare yourself to given an amazing elevator pitch (without sweating through your clothes).
Here are the necessary tips to creating and perfecting your elevator pitch so you can get the results you want.
Define Your End Goal
You can’t figure out what to say if you don’t know what you want to achieve. Therefore, the first step in creating your elevator pitch is defining what you want your elevator pitch to do for you. Do you want to win over a client? Are you hoping to snag an interview with a blogger you’ve been admiring? Are you trying to get approved for a small business loan?
Your end goal can be whatever you want, as long as it’s tailored to you and your professional needs. It’s also likely to change a lot as you have new business opportunities come to you. But no matter what, make sure you always know what your end goal is before you give any elevator pitch.
Outline Your Argument
Now that you know what you want to happen, you can outline your pitch/argument. An elevator pitch is meant to be persuasive, so you should know which points are most likely to win over your audience. Write down all the most convincing arguments, then prioritize them from most impressive to least. You want to lead with your most important points to make sure your audience hears them. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing their attention and not reaching your end goal.
Make sure you have numbers and hard facts to back up your claims. For example, if a blogger was pitching to a brand in hopes of working with them, then they should have up-to-date numbers on their website traffic, conversion rates, social media followers, and the results they garnered from past brand collaborations. Have facts and numbers to back up your argument is your opportunity to show them how working with you will benefit them as well.
Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More
This is the most overlooked part of preparing an elevator pitch. It’s not enough to simply write down what you want to say — you have to be able to deliver it in a way that your audience will enjoy and understand. The best way to prepare is to plant yourself in front of your mirror and practice your pitch until the words are second nature to you. Don’t just memorize your pitch and recite it like a robot, either. You want to make sure you don’t forget anything and can say it all with the necessary intonation and personality.
Practice in Front of an Audience
After you’ve persuaded the mirror with your stellar pitch, move on to living creatures. You can start with your pet if you’re super nervous, but it’s best to try it out on your family and friends. Ask as many people as possible if they’ll listen to you. This will help get rid of the shock when you stand up to give your formal pitch in front of your potential client, boss, or whoever else.
Ask for Help
Whoever they may be, ask your practice audience to give you feedback on how you did. Was there something you said that needed more clarification? Did something not fully make sense? Was there a sentence that needed some tweaking? Were you too relaxed or too stiff? Welcome their suggestions and advice so you can deliver the best possible elevator pitch.
Take everything your family and friends said and use it to tweak your pitch so it’s clearer and more effective. Of course, you don’t have to make every change they suggest, but at least consider what they said and think about how you can improve in some way.
Because first impressions really do matter. You want to be seen as a competent professional, so make sure you dress the part. Unless this is via email, in which case make sure you edit the life out of it. (Typos are the equivalent of wearing crocs into the Vogue office to speak with Anna Wintour — aka professional suicide.)
Learn From the Experience
If it went well and you got a yes, then try to channel all those good vibes into the next one. If it didn’t go well, then ask your audience if they have any advice for you to use in your future elevator pitches. There’s no such thing as failure, just learning opportunities.
Image via WOCinTech Chat
Last modified on January 15th, 2019