Mastering Your Elevator Pitch
You don’t need to be a business owner asking a room of venture capitalists for startup funds to need a powerful elevator pitch. In fact, according to LinkedIn, everyone needs an elevator pitch. Elevator pitches can be used to start conversations with someone at a networking event. They can also be used when interviewing for a new job. Mastering your elevator pitch will help you to achieve career success.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn. She interviewed Chris Westfall, Business Coach & Keynote Speaker.
They shared tips and personal stories about mastering your elevator pitch.
1. What is an Elevator Pitch
Most people assume an elevator pitch is necessary for those trying to get investors to invest in their businesses. This is true; however, everyone needs and can significantly benefit from a powerful elevator pitch. The key is to understand what the modern elevator pitch is.
Consider the following:
- Persuasive Introduction – An elevator pitch is a short persuasive introduction to a person, product, business, or idea. You want your audience to say, “Tell me more.” For example, during the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Chris and Jessica suggested thinking about what you would say if you could only say one thing. This will help you form the headline for your elevator pitch and leave your audience wanting to know more.
- Conversation Starter – The new modern elevator pitch is a way to start a conversation. Reframing the idea of an elevator pitch as a way to start a conversation can take away a lot of the anxiety surrounding the word pitch. For example, one way to reduce your stress around an elevator pitch is to remember the person or people you are talking to are human, too. You are having a human-to-human interaction.
- Simple Message – The simplest message is the strongest. Straightforward plainspoken will help you be understood. For example, people can often get caught up trying to use big words and complicated ideas to make their elevator pitch more compelling. However, the more straightforward and more easily understood your pitch is, the more your audience will resonate with it.
An elevator pitch is a way to start a conversation. The purpose of a pitch is to create action.
2. Your Audience
During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica, and Chris discussed the importance of multiple elevator pitches. The reason for this is your elevator pitch will be different depending on who your audience is.
Consider the following:
- Ignite Your Audience – When giving an elevator pitch, you want to evoke emotion and convey your passion to your audience. For example, if you want to be top of mind, start by discussing what is top of mind for your audience. When you make your pitch about your audience, they will automatically become invested in what you are saying.
- Connection – Connection creates a powerful pitch. One way to do this is to use a high-concept connection point. This is something universal that everyone acknowledges and agrees to. For example, starting your sentence with, “Doesn’t it seem like,” can help you frame your thought. “Doesn’t it seem like traffic is always bad after 5 pm?” Practice some universally true things, as well as those that are universally true in your industry or business. You’re practicing saying inarguable things. This is the connection everyone can agree to.
- Action – What your listener does after hearing your pitch with determine whether your pitch was powerful. For example, did your audience ask to hear more? Did your audience purchase your product? If the answer is yes, your pitch was powerful enough to invoke action. If the answer is no, your pitch was not powerful enough for your audience.
Conversations and elevator pitches have to adapt to your audience. Your strongest conversation starts with what your listener is thinking.
3. Mastering Your Pitch
During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica and Chris discussed strategies on how you can master your elevator pitch.
Consider the following:
- SAW Framework – The SAW framework is a tool Jessica uses to help her clients frame their pitches. The S stands for strong point. You want to consider the timing of your ask and how you can answer your audience’s questions of why now. For example, if you ask for a raise, you must be sure it is the right time to ask. If the company just posted a loss, it may not be the right time. The A stands for align objectives. You want to ensure you prep yourself for their concerns. For example, if you ask investors for money but know you have a debt against the business, you need to address those concerns upfront. The W stands for why you? This is where you can talk about yourself and why you are the right fit or deserve what you are asking for.
- Reading Your Audience’s Mind – Chris shared his mind-reading trick during the Souclast Media | LIVE. He said to picture an empty chair. The empty chair represents a seat at the table for someone who is not in the room, but would be directly, personally, and powerfully impacted by the change. For example, if you pitch a new MRI machine to a hospital, the empty chair represents the patient who will go through the new MRI machine. The empty chair is your customer’s customer.
- Be In The Moment – When it is time to give your elevator pitch, you want to be in the moment. How you show up is going to create the world around you. You need to be flexible and adaptable. For example, as you prepare for your pitch, you must also allow yourself to say the things needed to be said at the moment. You may have to pivot based on feedback, or questions you receive. The more flexible you are, the better results you will see.
You can use many strategies to help you master your elevator pitch. Practicing will help you feel confident when giving your elevator pitch.
Everyone needs an elevator pitch. Putting your audience first and keeping your pitch concise will help you drive your audience to action.
Check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel if you want to see the full LIVE version of this Soulcast Media | LIVE conversation.
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