How To Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
How do you typically respond when someone asks, “So, what do you do?” Are you prepared with a short, catchy response, or do you fumble around for an answer? Ideally, you’ll have a brief introduction ready to go the next time you hear this question. Your elevator pitch should be about as long as an average elevator ride—so about 30 seconds.
Being able to communicate who you are and what you do quickly and effectively will ensure you get your most important points across, says Laura Katen, president of Katen Consulting. We’re sharing Katen’s top tips for crafting a compelling elevator pitch in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
Make a list. Grab a piece of paper. Now, list the most important points you want to convey about yourself, your company or what you do. Katen suggests focusing on the most interesting facts that make you stand out from others.
Edit your list. Think like an editor and eliminate any unclear information or business jargon. Try to be as specific as possible to pique people’s interest. For example, rather than saying, “I’ve worked in sales for several years,” you could say something like, “I’ve surpassed my sales goal every quarter for the last three years.”
Round up some cards. The next step to perfecting your elevator pitch requires five index cards. Katen says you should label them “Who I Am,” “What I Do,” “How I Do It,” “Why I Do It” and “Who I Do It For.” Add each item on the list you’ve created to the card where it fits best. Aim to include two captivating sentences beneath each heading.
Organize the cards. Now, put the cards in logical order. The most important information should be first, Katen says. This way, if you get cut off, the other person hears the most impactful information about you.
Add a captivating fact. In this step, go back to the beginning of your elevator pitch and insert an interesting fact or stat. Your goal is to immediately engage someone so their interest is piqued and they want to continue talking with you, Katen notes.
Rehearse. You want to sound confident delivering your elevator pitch. Ask a colleague to listen to your speech and ask for feedback. They can point out any parts of your speech that may sound confusing or long-winded.
Record your pitch. Katen says it’s also helpful to record yourself so you can listen to your tone and your rate of speech. You should sound friendly and speak at a comfortable pace. Really listen to what you’re saying to make sure you’re sending the message you want to convey, she says.
Step into the elevator. You could also step onto an escalator or introduce yourself to someone new at a trade show or other event. Practice your elevator speech and continue honing it.
You never know when you’ll meet someone who can become a valuable connection. By being prepared with a polished and practiced elevator pitch, you can help yourself stand out.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Laura Katen is president of Katen Consulting, a women-owned, New York-based professional development training company.