Imagine you woke up on the morning of your meeting with developers at Facebook to share with them an idea you have been brewing for years now. You do all your morning rituals and get to the Facebook headquarters just in time. The kind gentleman at the reception directs you to the elevator which will lead you to the developer’s office. You press the button; take a deep breath; the elevator opens; you get in and you punch-in the floor number.
“Hold the elevator!”,you hear some guy shout from the far distance. You hold it. The guy approaches and boom! Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook is “the guy”. “Crazy morning huh!” he says. Not seen you around here, I’m Mark. You are?”
Here you are, in the elevator with the one person whose “yes” could get your idea accepted. What would you say?
This is what the “Elevator Pitch” was created for. Millennial entrepreneurs must be able to describe their line of work succinctly, persuasively and memorably. MindTools defines an elevator pitch as, “a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself.” Forbes.com adds that it is a 30-minute speech that summarizes who you are, what you do and why you are the best candidate.
Here are some tips to help you fine-tune your elevator pitch;
Nobody wants to talk to a stranger; moreover one that is looking to take their money. It is common courtesy to say your name, what you do and who you do it for (your company name). It makes people more comfortable and willing to listen.
Mention your goal
The objective of your company should be first agenda of your pitch. Is it a new product you are promoting; or a campaign you are advocating for? Make your objective known.
Why should they care?
The reason people associate with anything is because it gratifies a need they have. “What is in it for me” or “What can you do for me” The best way to answer this is by introducing yourself; then address the problem.
Tailor your pitch towards them and not yourself. This means that your pitch should be customizable to fit in different situations. An example Forbes.com says, “I am a human resources professional with a strong track record in helping to identify and recruit top-level talent into management.”
You could also mention some big brands that you have worked with in the past, to make your preposition credible and more attractive.
What is your USP?
Let the audience know your unique selling point. What makes you the better option and not your competitor? What do you offer that others do not?
MindTools.com advices that to highlight what makes your company unique, you could say, “We use a novel approach because unlike most other developers, we visit each organization to find out exactly what people need. Although this takes a bit more time, it means that on average, 95 percent of our clients are happy with the first beta version of their app.”
Leave them wanting more
A pitch is meant to be short enough to tickle interest. It is a teaser of sorts. Don’t give it all away. Do it like the “Fast and Furious” trailers. They show you all the adrenaline-rushing scenes and leave you drooling at your screen. Do the same with your pitch.
Engage with a question
Ask open-ended questions to your audience. Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered by “yes” and “no”; the answer is usually more detailed. For example, “What do you think about the product?”
Have a call to action
Inform the audience how they can act towards your cause. Is it and investment you are looking for? A sale? A retweet? Or a “yes” from Zuckerberg; whatever it is, tell them what you expect from them.
General advice on delivery
When delivering your elevator pitch; be natural- You will most probably be nervous, which is fine. Just don’t let the nerves take control of you. Speak at a normal pace, pitch,volume and with your natural born accent. Also, avoid industry jargon.
In the words of Fast Company’s Deborah Grayson Riegel from her article “The Problem With Your Elevator Pitch and How to Fix It,” writing is more formal and structured than speaking. If you’re not careful, your elevator pitch can come off sounding more like an infomercial than a conversation.
Don’t forget to practice your pitch over and over until it becomes a part of you! You could record yourself and listen to the recording to sieve out mistakes. Solicit feedback from others about what to change or make better. Watch Youtube videos of some good pitches to know how it is done.
Ice the cake with confidence and you are good to go!