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Let’s face it - In this age of information overload, people do not have the time to listen to our long introductions. Whether our attention spans are decreasing or not (that’s a debate for some other time), one thing is for sure - the audience is becoming very selective in what they pay attention to. They instantly tune out our technical gibberish or anything that goes above their heads. Nobody has the time to untangle complicated knots of information. Simple and interesting stuff works with them.
That brings us to writing the elevator pitch - a short, simple description of your company or yourself that can be understood in seconds. The name, as most of you already know, came after the practice of quickly introducing yourself to a fellow person sharing the elevator ride with you. This ride takes less than a minute and that’s the time you have to quickly introduce yourself and make the other person interested in knowing more about you. This brings us to the question-
What is an Elevator Pitch and What It is Not-
An elevator pitch is not a sales pitch. It is not just jumping at the first opportunity to start describing what you sell. It is an attempt to make people familiar with what you do and make the person interested in knowing more about you. A good elevator pitch will initiate a further conversation where you can sell yourself. Not in the first elevator pitch.
Who needs an elevator pitch? Practically everyone in this business of selling a product, service or idea. And where do we need it? When you are on an elevator of course, but also sharing a public ride, at a networking event, at your investor pitch proposal, at your interview, or a chance encounter with a stranger. You need to perfect your pitch so that you lose no time in picking the ‘right words’ and say the ‘right’ words with confidence.
How to Write an Elevator Pitch-
What are the “right’ words? The words that connect with the receiver. Here are some tips to get started:
Writing an Elevator Pitch for Yourself:
Step 1- Give an Insight into Yourself-
Think of what do you say when someone asks “What do you do?” Do you just vomit out quickly your designation? 99 out of 100 people do that. There is no soul behind those words. It is just a fact that you are sharing.
Average Introduction -
I am a graphic designer.
Better Elevator Pitch -
I am a freelance graphic designer passionate about making beautiful things and experiences for my clients.
Step 2- Describe Your Services
Now, that you have set the stage for who you actually are, describe quickly what you offer as your product or service. Remember that you are not selling anything just sharing what you do as a matter of fact.
#3- Show What You Do
Well, if you are riding in an elevator, then you cannot simply take out your phone and start showcasing your work unless the person said, “I would love to see your work.” But if you are presenting before an audience, say you have made a visual resume for a company, it makes sense to not just tell what you do but also show it. The first two slides have just taken 10-20 seconds, you still have a few seconds left to convince the audience of your credentials and create a memorable impression.
Showcase your work by showing a visual of the same:
If you can show a before-after, that is even better because nothing convinces more than seeing the transformation thanks to your service…
Step 4- Any big achievement to your credit?
If you have been awarded for your work or you helped the client achieve big success, it would be an opportunity lost not to share it. There’s no bragging about it but a matter of fact statement.
I don’t know if you have viewed my presentation on “7 Sure-Shot Ways to Multiply Your Earnings” on SlideShare. It was awarded “Presentation of the Year” by SlideShare last year.
Such a statement is bound to impress any tom dick and harry. Even if it’s not a ground-breaking achievement but a value that you offer to your clients, it will work.
I am Tom Phelps and I am a career counselor. Basically, I help my clients find their talent and put it to best use. Two of my clients recently got featured in New-Age Entrepreneurs Magazine for their disruptive startups.
Step 5- Share Your Contact Details
Last but not least, don’t forget to share your business card with the listener. All your effort of leaving a good impression goes down the drain if they can’t connect with you in the future when your services are needed. If it is a visual resume or a presentation at an event, share your contact details and also share your presentation copy so that you can be contacted in the future.
Creating an Elevator Pitch Presentation for Your Company:
In most cases, you need to pitch your company services before clients. The steps are the same - go for an easy-to-understand, interesting approach that connects with the audience.
Step 1- Start with a Hook
Pique the audience’s interest with a catchy opening. Here are three common ways to capture audience's attention right from the start-
#1- Ask a Question
Involve the audience in a conversation by asking them a question.
#2- State a Fact
Facts add credibility to a presentation. Logical people are more convinced when data and statistics are presented before them.
#3- Share a Story
Stories always connect with the audience at an emotional level. They give a face to the facts and data you share. Story could be of a client in distress and how the fortunes turned for them once they started utilizing your services. It is not a brag story but a genuine description of a problem that many in the audience would be facing and how you rose to the challenge.
Step 2- Who are You & What Do You Do
Once you have captured the audience's interest, it is time to do the most important thing - Introduce your company. There are two ways to go about it - First, Introduce your brand name and a short line description of what you do.
The second way is - Introducing your brand name and tagline that describes the value you offer to others.
Step 3- Who’s Your Target Audience
If the audience is obvious like in the example above (every business can benefit from social media presence), you can skip this step. For many other products and services, this is a very important part of the elevator pitch.
Step 4- What’s Your USP
What makes you different from your competitors? Highlight your Unique Selling Proposition that will convince the audience to choose you over others.
Step 5- Client Testimonial/Case Study
Showcase the good work you have done for your clients. Case studies and client testimonials add credibility to your claims.
Step 6- Contact Us Details
You can’t forget to share your business card if you are conversing face to face. While presenting an online slideshow, don’t forget to add the contact details towards the end.
Case Study: Best Elevator Pitch
You realize the power of an elevator pitch when you read the case study of DollarShaveClub. Their pitch video went viral on YouTube helping them build a billion dollar business.
Here’s their 1 minute 33 seconds long pitch that was a massive success, so much so that their website crashed as it could not handle the traffic that poured in:
Here’s what we learned from it:
Top 10 Tips to Create a Killer Elevator Pitch:
- Show Your Human Side
Brands are faceless organizations. That is why, it is difficult to connect with them right from the start. We just hear their names and if it is an unfamiliar one, it gets lost amongst the dozens of brand names we come across every day. So, for a new brand wishing to make an impressive elevator pitch, we can take a cue from DollarShaveClub.
The CEO himself introduces the brand -
Hi, I'm Mike, founder of DollarShaveClub.com. What is DollarShaveClub.com? Well, for dollar a month, we send high-quality razors right to your door. Yeah a dollar.
P.S. Also notice how he asks the straightforward question to engage viewers.
- Highlight Your USP
A startup can take over business giants if it has something valuable to offer that others do not. The USP has already been highlighted in the opening line - it is just a dollar a month! But is that it? Is money the only selling factor. No. The pitch quickly establishes the quality of service-
Are the blades any good? No, our blades are f**king great! Each razor has stainless steel blades and aloe vera lubricating strip and a pivot head. It's so gentle a toddler could use it.
- Throw Light on Problem
The reason why your business exists is to solve a pain point. What is that pain point? Articulate it well so that even if the people were not aware of it, thanks to you they are. DollarShaveClub launches a scathing attack on a big brand by articulating the pain point perfectly...
And do you like spending $20 a month on brand name razors? 19 go to Roger Federer... And do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a back scratcher and ten blades. Ask your grandfather - had one blade and polio.
- Offer Your Solution
Now that you have presented the problem, the next logical step is to present your solution. Although the same is indirectly covered when you described in the beginning the service you offer, you can elaborate upon that briefly over here.
Stop paying for shave tech you don't need and stop forgetting to buy your blades every month. Alejandro and I are gonna ship them right to you.
- Social Promise is a Bonus
Millennials are motivated by cause marketing and less by monetary reward. In a study on millennials and buying behavior, it was found that 42% of millennials bought from a company with a social mission as compared to 14% of older Americans. The shaving company includes social appeal in its pitch smartly.
We're not selling razors. We're also making new jobs.
- Make it Humorous
Nothing engages like humor. The brand knew how to add fun to their pitch and lighten up the viewers. The pitch has many funny moments like the grandfather reference, love for tennis, and boss-worker bonhomie.
Alejandro, what were you doing last month? Not working. What are you doing now? Working. I'm no Vanderbilt but this train makes hay.
- End with a Memorable Call to Action
The listeners might be engaged with your story but is that all you want? You want them to take the next step - look up at your service and make the next buying move.
So stop forgetting about your blades every month and start deciding where you're gonna stack all those dollar bills I'm saving you. We are dollarclubshave.com and the party is on!
Isn't it about time?
- Have a Catchy Slogan/Tagline
A slogan that sticks works great for your business. But it should highlight your customer value, your value proposition. DollarShaveClub addresses both their benefits in their catchy tagline - It helps you save money (just a dollar a month) and time (product is shipped right to your door).
Shave Time Shave Money
- Keep It Short
Elevator pitches should be no more than 30-60 seconds. Attention spans are decreasing. You have to grab their attention quickly. Where video format is concerned, DollarShaveClub packs a lot of punch in just 90 seconds.
- Keep It Simple
This is where many elevator pitches go wrong. They use their industry jargon thinking everyone understands the same. Test your elevator pitch on those outside your industry to get a fair idea. Work on the pitch to make it as simple as possible.
Professionally Designed Elevator Pitch PPT Templates
If you need single-slide Elevator Pitch templates to pitch the main points in one slide, here are some professionally designed templates to help you keep your message succinct and visually impactful...