How To Write An Elevator Pitch

June 18, 2012

by Justine Parsons

 

I recently purchased Problogger’s 31 days to build a better blog [watch this space].  The first task was to write an elevator pitch for your blog and I thought to myself “Yipee, I started a similar discussion on LinkedIn recently, this task is in the bag!”

Ok, so there’s more to an elevator pitch than coming up with an eight word summary … and this task wasn’t quite as ‘in the bag’ as originally thought, but a great lesson learnt and any task that asks me to look at and evaluate my focus has to be a good one.  Here’s what I have learnt.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch (or elevator speech or elevator statement) is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition.[1] The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. In The Perfect Elevator Speech, Aileen Pincus states that an elevator speech should “sum up unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others.”

A variety of people, including project managers, salespeople, evangelists, and policy-makers commonly rehearse and use elevator pitches to get their point across quickly. An elevator pitch may be presented in oral, written, and video formats.

An elevator pitch is often used by an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a venture capitalist or angel investor to receive funding. Venture capitalists often judge the quality of an idea by the quality of its elevator pitch and will ask entrepreneurs for their elevator pitches in order to quickly weed out bad ideas and weak teams. Elevator pitches are also used in many other situations. Personal uses include job interviewing, dating, and summarizing professional services. [Source: Wikipedia]

How to write an elevator pitch

Why do you need an elevator pitch?

In terms of this exercise, my elevator pitch reminds me what I am blogging about, to whom and why.  In broader terms, it will help to avoid those awkward  moments when someone asks you about what you do.  You know what you do [one hopes] but conveying this in a witty, concise few sentences in a way that raises the curiosity of the person you are talking to … well, a pre-prepared pitch is priceless.

Most people ask “What do you to” as a cordial remark. Most of the time, they don’t care, it’s just small talk.  Which is exactly why you need to phrase it so that they do care.

How to create your elevator pitch

1.  Answer the following three questions;

  • who is your audience
  • what is their need or problem
  • what solution do you provide

2.  Based on the above 3 answers, craft a pitch to last 30 – 60 seconds.

  • Don’t use unnecessary words, keep it short and concise.
  • Use your voice.  If you adopt a professional approach, keep your pitch professional.  If your business has a quirky voice, so too should your pitch.
  • Be intriguing.  You want your pitch to raise intrigue and create interest.  Does it raise questions?
  • Be different.  Use your unique selling point to stand out in the crowd.

3.  Practice, tweak and perfect your pitch.

4.  From your complete pitch, develop a shorter version or tag line to use on your business cards, branding, email signature and sign-off.

When to use your elevator pitch

  • In your website, marketing and content
  • On your business card
  • In your email signature
  • When asked what you do
  • When presenting an idea, project, proposal
  • Social media profiles

 

As I said, more to developing the perfect elevator pitch than first thought.  Mine is not perfect … yet … but the work in progress has started.  And I have ticked off task one!  Does this make you want to subscribe?

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My challenge to you: tell me your elevator pitch!  It’s a chance to let other readers see what you are about and what you offer.  Do you use humour, wow with emotion or intrigue with questions?  What was the hardest part of writing your pitch.  Comment below, I’d love to hear what you have come up with.

Image credit: www.dzinebox.com

 

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