Whether you are mingling, networking or just plain bumping into people-from potential investors to future business partners to future customers-having a quick and dirty elevator pitch is a quintessential tool to have in your toolbox. Having a 30 second summation of what your business and brand are all about and what makes you unique and valuable will make building relationships with the right people a little bit easier.
The pitch takes a little bit of thought and a lot of practice. You want to be able to share your core values and the mission of the company in a concise but genuine and passionate manner.
First of all, they want to know you. What made you create the brand/business? Where, what or who was your inspiration? Secondly, people will want to know what makes you special in your industry. What special problem does your business solve? How is it different than the competitors?
Another important piece of the 30 second pitch is that it needs to be interesting as well as short. Droning on and on will ensure that people won’t want to do business with you, if for no other reason than to avoid listening to you talk forever and ever. Your pitch needs to sound like an engaging soundbite with a climax and conclusion.
You should do some note-taking to come to the essence of you, your business, and the story of how you got to where you are today. Take notes on all the key moments from conception to inception to today. Once you have the details in front of you, you can whittle down to three key elements. You’ll want to do away with the extras and play up those dramatic moments. If that is difficult, try coming up with a one sentence summation of who you are and what you do. Then, you can begin to add in a little more fluff to add interest and flavor.
Next, you will want to iron out your delivery. Whether or not you are appearing on Shark Tank shouldn’t make a bit of difference on how much you practice getting your pitch just right. When the delivery of your pitch has the confidence and charisma of storyteller, you will hopefully have a captive audience that will want to know more about the smaller details that you had to cut out. Practice it a number of times by yourself, then record yourself. Watch and evaluate the recordings to see what you need to tweak and reword. Then, present your pitch for several of your close colleagues or friends to get their feedback.
Finally, take it out on the road to your next networking lunch, an industry convention, or just to a local party. After you have delivered it a few times, you can begin to tweak, polish, and refine. You never know when you will meet just the right people at just the right time so having a perfect pitch prepared will make those awkward “ice-breaking” moments, easy, comfortable, and maybe even advantageous for you and your company.