Education

Mastering the Elevator Pitch

by PRIYANKA GOTHI|27 September 2021

Do you struggle with clearly articulating what your business is about? Does it take you longer than 30 seconds to communicate it?

As an entrepreneur, you probably need to tell people about your business multiple times a day. Having a clear articulation ensures that your potential investors. stakeholders and collaborators, will remember what you do, be interested to find out more and be keen to get involved.

An elevator pitch is a short and entertaining introduction to you and your business that is usually 30-60 seconds long. This short summary of your business will probably end up being the most often delivered pitch of what you do, and what problem you solve as a result of it.

Here are 5 key elements to keep in mind when crafting your elevator pitch.

Take the macro approach 

An investor doesn’t want to get into the details of your business in the very first interaction. Think of an elevator pitch as the first and most important thing they learn about you and your company. There will be plenty of time to dive into details later, but for now think, act and speak big picture. And, remember the WHY. Much more important than the what and the how at this stage.

Write it down, script it out

You’ll be able to fit more in your three sentence, 30 second pitch if you practice it than if you relied on an off-the-cuff delivery filled with human speech traps like ums and uhs. Through writing and editing it, you ensure you only communicate what is important and relevant and only keep those aspects that highlight or prove the worthiness of your idea.

Say it aloud

Once you’ve written it out, polished it and memorised it, say it aloud and really listen to what you’re saying. How’s your pace? Are you thinking too much about getting it all out in 30 seconds? Or are you delivering it with poise and punctuating your delivery with a pause or emphasis on key words? And what about your tone? Friendly, inviting, confident? Or obnoxious, aggressive, in your face? Or, MAYBE it’s shy, reserved or weak? Honestly, you can only tell once it’s spoken aloud. Now, once you’ve nailed that, take a friend, ride an elevator and practise it. Seriously, if you can deliver it successfully in a confined and maybe hot and crowded space, you’re already winning.

Keep it simple

Keep the explanation broad, highlight one or two key features – and that could even be a social proof, a brief story that illustrates a customer’s transformation. And if you can make it memorable through a pun, a rhyme or a comparison-style, X meets Y model, all the better. For example – “An “UBER” for X” is a simple way to explaining how your business operates.

Be confident, embrace your idea and leave with a hook

Nothing is more attractive than a founder who knows what they’re doing and are convinced about it. Be confident and make sure to add a cliffhanger at the end to help carry forward the conversation.  An example: 18 month trials have shown that nightly use of our mouthguard is as effective as wearing braces. It makes you want to ask, how does the mouthguard work? This is particularly relevant at pitch events with lots of other companies presenting, you need something to make sure you stand out.

So, in a nutshell, use the elevator pitch to get indifferent folks interested in your idea. Simplify, think of the big picture, practice, edit and exude confidence.

And finally, finish with a hook so your investor will be compelled to ask more questions.