8 Tips for a Winning Elevator Pitch

Have you got your pitch sorted? It is time to set things straight.

Written by Ian Richter

8 months ago

The elevator pitch is both a practical tool and one that can help you better define your business and its values. The process of writing one should make you evaluate and recognize the core attributes of your company or product, and decide upon the message that best serves it.

#1 Make it short
Your elevator pitch should be exactly that – the time it takes for an average length elevator ride, which I’m assuming has never actually been calculated. A more practical target is 60 seconds or under 250 words. Remember that pace will greatly affect your time so don’t go for something that will make you have to rush.

#2 Avoid technical lingo
Don’t assume the person you’ll be pitching to will have a background in your industry. Use terms that are descriptive, but that aren’t only known by insiders.

#3 Get an audience…or use a mirror
Just reading the pitch in your head won’t give you an indication of how it flows. Practice it in front of a mirror, or even better, record a video. Also make sure to try it out on some friends. These “in the spotlight” simulations are more realistic and will give you a sense of your confidence with regards to the pitch.

#4 Practice makes perfect
Memorizing your elevator pitch is crucial. It should be recitable in any context and with any distractions that might be going on in the background. By knowing it backwards, you’ll be able to concentrate on your delivery and be more confident.

#5 Feel it. Get Pumped.
If you’re not excited about what you’re pitching, don’t expect your pitchee to be either. You’re presenting an idea to the world. This is your chance to show that you’re passionate about what you’re offering, and that you believe in its value.

#6 Include an action item
Always remember what you want your pitch to achieve. If you just want this person to know more about your company and product, direct them to your website so they can learn more. If it’s a potential client or investor, make sure to follow your pitch with a suggestion for the next step in your dialogue.

#7 Don’t Preach, Converse
Once you’ve finished delivering your pitch, be responsive to the other person and listen carefully to their questions or remarks. Ask them about what they do. Having the other side’s input is crucial for letting the conversation develop further.

#8 Edit, Edit and Edit Some More
You’ll very likely notice that every once in a while something won’t feel quite right about certain parts of your pitch. Recognize this as a valuable opportunity to make changes. Every iteration of your pitch will be an improvement and will keep you in touch with the progress and development of your product.

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