The Elevator Pitch

I’m often asked what makes a good elevator pitch and generally I respond with a question. Not the smoothest tactic around, probably, but if the person asking me the question is willing to engage, the process of answering my question helps them more than a standard answer ever would.

What is my question I hear you ask?

“What is the purpose of an elevator pitch?”

So many times, people look for a quick patch without going back to basics. An elevator pitch is short. VERY short. Check the definitions if you wish, but even in a skyscraper, you will typically have less than a minute to deliver it. You have to make an impact, and you have to have a takeaway. That’s it. The end. Nothing else. Do you agree?

See what I did there? This is not (really) an exercise in self-indulgent bragging, but that paragraph was short, hopefully grabbed your attention and has a takeaway or call to action. Anything else is redundant. For me its even more simple. The only purpose of giving an elevator pitch to someone else is because you want to motivate them to follow up with you. You want them to call. You want them to do some research. You want them to want to. You need them to want to. And you need them to remember you for long enough to do the required action before the inevitable distractions take you out of their mind again.

So, we will often talk about presentations needing a beginning, a middle and an end. We will discuss foils having a magic number of bullet points. We will spout all of this learned wisdom. And so will everyone else.

Go back to basics. Make them want to remember you. Make them call. Got it? If not, please call me….

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