An elevator pitch is a concise speech to express your ideas, in a way that’s not just compelling, but also to the point and sparks interest about what you do. These are ideally short 30-second speeches. The name comes from unexpected situations in which you’re supposed to convey your ideas to investors, while also being pressed for time (for example during a chance encounter during an elevator ride).
While mostly associated with investment pitches, elevator pitches can also be useful when you’re trying to introduce your ideas to prospective clients, during a corporate meeting, in job interviews or even when writing your LinkedIn or Twitter Bio.
Whether it’s a short phone call or a board meeting, condensing your entire background and prospects to a memorable 30-second oration is a skill that should be honed.
In an increasingly competitive world that’s constantly pressed for time, here’s how you can craft compelling elevator pitches that can help you stand out.
WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
Arguably the most important part of your pitch is your goal, i.e. what you hope to achieve. For instance, an investor-oriented pitch is different from a recruitment pitch. Identify your goals and then craft your pitch accordingly.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
If the pitch is for your organisation, talk about the work you do, the problems you solve, and how you differentiate from other organisations. If it’s for your recruiters, talk about prior experiences, such as previous work deliverables, responsibilities and skills you’ve acquired along the way.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE AND HOW CAN THEY HELP ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS?
This bit is about what you bring to the table, your unique skill sets, and your strengths. After you’ve identified what you do, give information to support your claims. If you are interviewing for a marketing role, mention previous campaigns you’ve done and their metrics. If you’re still a student, talk about your ECAs or major, and how your previous work makes you an effective candidate for your future job.
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now that you’ve identified all the elements, it’s time to bring it together into one free-flowing piece. Remember to exclude unnecessary details. It could sound something like this: “I’m a graduate of XYZ University, and while I majored in Finance, I interned at an NBFI, where I had to work with financial models, which really put my analytical skills to test. I hope to work at a bank or financial institute, combining my knack for numbers and asset management.”
Practice till you have the perfect pitch, that’s not only concise and compelling but also tells everything that it needs to.
Cater to your audience
Elevator pitches aren’t a one-size-fits-all affair. For instance, you should pay attention while using jargons. While it may help you sound more professional, you also don’t want to alienate your audience.
Have takeaway items
Now that you’ve made an impression, have items such as your business card or an organisation brochure to give away at the end, so the person has something to remember and contact you by.
Make sure your body language doesn’t come off as aggressive or rude, and your pitch doesn’t sound like something you’ve memorised. It should sound natural and conversational.
Tashfia Mamun is a final year business student and an avid dog lover. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.