Executives and Elevators Perfecting That Pitch
Perfecting your elevator pitch helps you explain yourself clearly and powerfully. Make sure to periodically review how you are delivering that pitch and whether it's continuing to work for you. How you speak concisely and confidently about what makes you or your service unique will make a big difference in creating a positive first impression. Here are some points to consider when reviewing your elevator pitch:
1.) Know who’s catching.
Your pitch is far more likely to be accurate if you know something about your target and what they need to hear. Make sure everything you say is viewed through your listener's point of view. What can your product or service do for them? Don’t waste time highlighting your own record or accomplishments unless you know how that helps them.
2.) Stay away from platitudes.
Every business claims a “customer-focus” and says it's “results oriented”. Stick to your uniqueness and why those points mean something for your target audience. This isn't time for a mission statement. It’s your core delivery.
3.) Preparation is key to confidence. Don’t ever “wing” your way through an important introduction to a postential client. A first impression only happens once. Keep your pitch focused and answers to questions similarly on point. Be guided by watching your listener and paying attention to which points gain a positive reaction.
4.) Solve a problem.
Don’t ever just offer capabilities or a suite of services. Focus on the solution you offer in broad but targeted terms for each target audience. If your audience has to ask “How does this help me?” or “Why should I care?”, you’re in trouble.
5.) Let the passion show. Keep your pitch fresh. If you sound like you've delivered the pitch an endless number of times, you risk veering from sounding confident to sounding bored. Facts can move heads, but it takes emotion to move hearts. Let your listener hear the commitment in your voice and your words. An elevator pitch is not a dry recitation of facts delivered neutrally.
6.) Call for action. Give your listener something to do with the information they’ve just received. Seize on clear steps or suggestions that you are proposing. Make sure you are being understood and that your audinece knows what you'd like them to do next.
Remember clear speaking reflects clear thinking. Even if your pitch is one you have used regularly, get some feedback from a coach or a trusted source on how to improve it. Remember most of all that an elevator pitch has to be concise. Your aim is to get another meeting. In the wise words of Winston Churchill, "Be clear. Be brief. Be seated."