The situation happens over and over. You’re networking at a business meeting or trade show and strike up a conversation with a stranger. They ask about your job and your company.
Or maybe you are an entrepreneur, and you want to convince prospective clients of the worth of your products.
In either case, do you stutter and hesitate because you are unprepared? Or do you launch into a quick, descriptive speech that satisfies the stranger’s curiosity and leaves them wanting to know more?
Investopedia defines the “elevator pitch” as a tiny speech that outlines an idea for a product, service or project. It should be very short — 20-60 seconds, or the time it takes to ride an elevator.
Good elevator pitches are interesting, brief, memorable and flexible, allowing the opportunity for questions.
Tips for a Better Elevator Pitch
And how do you perfect your elevator pitch? Business News Daily offers seven tips:
- Know what you’re selling. What makes your product unique? What sets your company apart from the competition?
- Fully understand the solutions your products and services can offer. This will give you confidence when making the pitch and answering follow-up questions.
- Use only the key points of your product or business to engage the target audience. Show value instead of just listing benefits.
- Start the pitch with your name, job and company. Repeat that information at the end of the conversation to help them remember you.
- Slow down. You have a short time and it’s tempting to speak too fast, which makes it difficult to understand. Be conversational.
- Keep tweaking until you get it right. Test different versions. Ask friends and colleagues what you’re doing right and how you can improve.
- Let your personality shine. Your message should show you are passionate about what you do and that you can be trusted.
Don’t Shy from Self-Promotion
TopResume has several ideas for self-promotion in an elevator pitch:
- Introduce yourself and note your credentials such as college major or degree. Tell them what distinguishes you. Establish a relationship by seeking common ground.
- Help your audience understand your goals by talking about yourself and your business. Make sure your pitch highlights how you can serve your listener, the value you can deliver, or the problems you can solve.
- Talk about your qualifications, combining aspects of your leadership skills, achievements, expertise and skills.
The elevator pitch is a simple but effective tool to introduce your business to someone in those first moments of conversation. Making an excellent impression can make or break a deal. It is a tool every business professional can use, but remember that the pitch is only as good as the qualifications and experience that back it up.
Those seeking to increase their exposure in the business world should consider furthering their education through programs such as the Boise State University online MBA program. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and can be finished in 12 months. An MBA can open many career opportunities for professionals who want to take the next step.
Learn more about Boise State University’s online MBA program.