What's an elevator pitch and who needs one?
An elevator pitch is a short speech that's meant to get someone interested in what you do. The goal is not to sell, but to get a chance to give a more detailed presentation about you or your organisation.
Everybody needs one - you may be an entrepreneur or someone looking for a job!
Every industry is filled with experts and one of the best ways to stand out is to prepare a great elevator pitch.
Here's how you can craft your elevator pitch:
Keep it brief. How long is the elevator ride going to be? From ground floor to the 3rd floor or to the 12th floor? Regardless, you should craft two versions of your elevator pitch. If you don't have much time, 30 seconds is enough to introduce yourself - say who you are, what you do, and why what you do is important. If you have 60 seconds, add in evidence to support that you are good at what you do and how you're different. Don't make it any longer than 60 seconds to keep the listener's interest and attention.
Keep it simple. Stay away from jargons and complex words, they don't make you more interesting. When creating your pitch, bear in mind that the other person may not be too familiar with the technical terms so make certain your message is clear and to the point.
Stay calm and stay natural. Never recite your pitch from memory as it can disrupt a natural flow of delivery. Know the important details of your pitch (e.g. who you are, what you do, importance of what you do) by heart, so when you suddenly find yourself in a conversation, you can weave your pitch smoothly.
Be prepared to answer questions. Remember that giving an elevator pitch is not about you, although it may seem that way, it's really about the other person. If you get the interest of the other person, he/she will ask questions, so be prepared to answer them. You don't want to have a great pitch but later stutter when it comes to answering follow up questions.
Practice and ask for feedback. Practice with someone from your industry, this way, they can give you feedback on how to present your skills in a manner that's in line with "industry standards". Practice with someone who fits your ideal client, this person can be a friend or family, then ask for feedback on how your pitch can be more interesting for non-experts.