Everyone should have an “elevator pitch” ready to go at all times, whether it is about you or about your project. If someone says, “tell me about yourself”, you should be able to give them a well-rounded picture of your successes and ambitions in 2 minutes or less.
Imagine that you are in an elevator, and in walks someone who could potentially partner with your project. You have only the time that it takes the elevator to arrive at your floor to tell them about your project and get them on board.
What do you say?
- Make the benefits clear
Introduce yourself, and then present the problem you both face. Present your project as the solution.
- Make it easy to join
If you have worked with big name brands already, or even the competitors of the person that you are pitching to, don’t be afraid to mention it. It shows that you have credibility and that you are growing.
- Leave them wanting more
Elevator pitches are meant to be short, so don’t try to pack in too much. Give away just enough detail, but nothing that can be internalized as confidential. Explain your expertise, why you are best suited for execution and general overview, but remember that there is no non-disclosure agreement signed yet. The secret sauce should be saved for later. All you’re required to do is confidently broadcast that you know exactly what you’re doing.
- Have a call to action
Let your goals be known. If you are raising money, communicate with them how much you want and how much equity you’re willing to part with. If you’re trying to win over an employee or a client, let them know exactly what you want from them.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
- But be natural
You should rehearse the speech, but make sure it doesn’t sound robotic! Authenticity is important.
- Tailor your pitch
Whatever you have rehearsed, it will not fit perfectly with everyone you meet. Make sure that you are flexible enough that you can tailor your pitch to your audience.
This article was originally delivered as an L-Lab presentation by Fay Walker, Business Development Officer, on July 05 2014.