What is it That You Do in 30 Seconds? Re-Inventing the Elevator Pitch.

Elevator Pitch
Photo credit: Rennett Stowe

I think it is time the Elevator Pitch made a comeback! Your Elevator Pitch is what you would tell someone in an elevator about your company, your goals, your mission and you only have the same time you would have if you were on an elevator with someone for a few floors. Perhaps this person on the elevator is a billionaire who will back your project, a potential client or business partner… that is up to you and your imagination.

Where did the elevator pitch go?

I’m not actually sure. It got lost somewhere in the 40 minute description of your company, all your products, in the gobbledegook on your company About Us page, in the long form I needed to fill out on your website to get more information, or maybe at the conference I went to where the presenters were more into pitching themselves then actually teaching the attendees valuable information that they can use. Time for us to trim the fat.

How do I develop an elevator pitch?

Easy – What makes you different and how are you going to get that across! Not what do you do that hundreds of other people do. Not what books did you read that I could easily read myself if I felt like it but actually what is it YOU do and what original thoughts do you have to bring to the table. THAT is what people are interested in. That is what makes you stand out.

5 Steps to Delivering Your Elevator Pitch

  1. What is unique about you? What about you and your company is different then everyone else? Figure that out. It could be your staff, policies, that you donate 10 hours a month to a charity, your blog, or just about anything and a combination of a few things.
  2. Spice it up Find a way to make your elevator pitch exciting. Make people want to know even more about you. Some people have just a knack for storytelling. For some it takes practice. Write your elevator pitch down and re work it so you don’t drone on and on.
  3. Do not embellish Nothing is worse then when you meet someone and they tell you they do X,Y,Z and then when you follow up you find out they actually do A,B,C. Do not embellish or twist your story just to get someone’s attention. Make sure you can back up everything you say.
  4. Business CardsBe clear and have a defined way to learn more So you have your efficient and captivating elevator pitch… How can people learn more or contact you? When I first joined Twitter I had a confusing Twitter ID – there were some letters, an underscore and a couple numbers. I realized this wasn’t going to work out when I was at a conference and tried telling people my Twitter name so they could follow me. It was confusing so I changed to a nickname that was easy to say and remember.

    This example can work for anything: your blog, LinkedIn URL, Twitter ID – give people an easy way to get in touch with you later. Have business cards? That is great. To the right is where all the business cards I have gotten in the last few months. Those are the ones that I didn’t lose, throw in the washing machine or use to spit my gum out. Business cards are good but a place to find you online to connect may be better.

  5. Make Eye Contact Like I said some people are good story tellers and some are not but if you can engage people with eye contact it goes a long way. Don’t look up or skirt your eyes around like you are looking for your elevator pitch cue card in the sky. Give the person you are talking to the respect to know that they have your undivided attention for at least these few moments.

I think it is time for a realignment. In the era of information, every business can create their own content and push it out to potential consumers. That doesn’t mean we need to have 20 minute descriptions of our company or products. Keep it short, sweet and honest and save all the details for the follow up!