Crafting an Effective 30-Second Elevator Pitch
You sit in the room at this networking event that you hope will bring you more business. One by one people take turns introducing themselves and giving their elevator pitches. You can hardly pay attention to what they say, because as it gets closer to your turn, you start to sweat, butterflies get all in a flurry in your gut, your mouth gets dry, and all you can think about is not screwing up or coming across as a fool. Right before you open your mouth to introduce yourself you stand up and silently pray that your voice doesn’t shake and you don’t stumble through your words. “Please, God, help me get through this.”
Have you been there? I have, and on multiple occasions.
There is nothing more depressing/frustrating/aggravating/disappointing than muttering through an elevator pitch and wishing you had done a better job.
One of the ways I have become less nervous about giving elevator pitches is by crafting a basic introduction using the following structure:
- Who are you? Start your introduction with your full name and business name. State this in a simple, complete sentence.
- Who is your target market/who do you serve? Be as specific as possible.
- What benefit(s) do you provide/what pain points do you alleviate? Pick benefits/pain points that people will recognize. (Answers to questions 2 and 3 can be combined into one sentence in your pitch.)
- What type of person/business is a good referral for you? Again, be as specific as possible, even naming a specific target with whom you would like to connect.
- Close by repeating your name and your business name.
- As a bonus, add a catchy tagline that helps people to remember you and what you do.
Here is a basic elevator pitch for me, as an example:
Hi. I am Helen Moses, voice and speech coach at Command Communication. I teach solopreneurs and small business owners to make their 30-second elevator pitch stand out in a crowd so they can attract more customers and grow their business. I am looking to meet people who get nervous when talking about their business and are ready to claim the power of their voice. Again, I am Helen Moses of Command Communication, Making Your Voice Mean Business!TM
Do I ever change this pitch? Absolutely! I change it up to cater to my current audience and/or to highlight a new/upcoming offering that I want to promote. To alter your pitch you can change your target market, a specific benefit you provide, or your ideal referral. When I introduce myself at a regular networking group, I sometimes abandon this script entirely to keep it fresh and make sure people remember me. What I do consistently, however, is to state my full name, business name, and tagline very clearly. I apply vocal techniques to get people’s attention and to connect with them on an emotional level. To learn more about how to do that yourself, read my blog post, “Delivering a Memorable Elevator Pitch”.