How to Create Your Unforgettable Elevator Pitch

by Eric Tsai

How to Create Your Unforgettable Elevator Pitch

Have you ever tried to tell someone about your online business or your idea for a business, but when you did, their eyes glazed right over?

You feel stupid or self-conscious because you know they’re bored, confused or just don’t get it.

The truth is we’re already inundated with information and overloaded with work everyday that most everything just aren’t that interesting to us.

In fact, most of us happen to think, say and do the same things everyday. We just do it with slight variations.

This is why you can’t help wanting to check your emails, tweets and text messages to see what’s fresh coming down the information pipeline.

It’s human nature.

So how do you talk about what you do in a powerful way that people will not only stop and listen but maintain their attention all the way through?

You need an elevator pitch – a way for you to instantly spark interest from your audience.

Here are a few key elements to a compelling elevator pitch.

Be specific and focus on the problem you solve

Elevator pitch is how you talk about what you do not your personal mission to change the world so focus on the specifics.

The critical mistake that most people make when asked “what do you do” is that they either go with a micro-level answer of telling people their daily tasks at their job (I do accounting) or the macro-level answer of describing the industry they’re in (I’m in IT).

The problem?

Everyone has a different perception of what a compute programmer does or what it means to be working in sales. In fact, the less specific answer you provide the more confusing it gets.

Instead of talking about abstract concepts, focus in on how you help people, specifically, the problem(s) that you solve.

It’s should not be your personal mission to change the world because most people are process-orientated, nobody really cares about what you do; it’s about HOW you do it!

It’s not about selling or using fancy words

Elevator pitch is a way to effectively wake up people from their daily routines and sparks their curiosity so they’re interested to know what you have to offer.

It is not about how you can impress people with jargons that make you sound smart (even though you’re). Great elevator pitches bring awareness to people so it makes sense to them to shift their attention to what you have to say.

Fancy words or phrases often requires your audience to “figure it out” which leads to disconnects and confusion. Stay away from them and use simple words that are easy to understand.

It should sound like something that happens in the real world that’s tangible, external, measurable and specific.

How to create unforgettable elevator pitch

Now that you know the key elements of a compelling elevator pitch, here is a simple template to use when creating your elevator pitch.

Start by saying, “you know how some people have this problem?”

Replace “this problem” with the problem or challenge that you solve.

Then continue with, “well, I offer this solution.”

Replace “this solution” with how the problem is solved.

Do not describe your business or the process of what your product does.

Here is an example.

You know some people have stuff they want to get rid off but don’t want to give it all away for free? Well I offer a website that allows them to auction anything off to the highest bidder. (eBay anyone?)

To take this even further, you could narrow it down to a specific group of people and their problems. The trick is to add some conveniences by using words such as with or without and recaps the entire pitch at the end.

You know how parents after their kids are grown want to get rid of all their baby stuff without giving it all away for nothing?

Well, I offer an online auction website that lets them sell their used baby stuff within a week or we’ll offer to buy it from them. Do you know any parents that want to get paid with their used baby stuff?

Remember, you can tailor the pitch to fit any scenarios or situation depending on your audience. This way you’ll have different versions of your elevator pitch to use when you meet a friend, an investor, a partner or a prospective customer.

So, what do you do?

[This article was published on VentureBeat’s Entrepreneur Corner]

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15 Comments

  1. How to Create Your Unforgettable Elevator Pitch |http://bit.ly/hJjuaU| This is a truly useful blog & a must to get thinking about benefits

  2. Dan   •  

    Most people have a terrible time crafting a sparkling elevator pitch. And yet, that’s exactly what they need to do to maximize the odds of success in their small business, consulting practice or profession.

    I tell my readers and customers to create custom-tailored elevator pitches for each audience (friends, family, the media, bloggers, investors and partners) as the article suggests. However, I go one step further and advise them to create a few variations for each audience. All pitches are then written down on an index card that can travel with them to events and gatherings for easy reference. I

    I like to call these “pitch cards”.

    Pitch cards enable simple data gathering about which pitch versions resonate the most with each audience. This data can then be fed back into marketing messages to maximize impact.

    You can read more about developing pitch cards in an article response I wrote on the Mellow Software blog (my company).

    Good luck creating your pitch cards, and happy pitching!

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