An elevator pitch is a quick, well-crafted speech that should be designed to sell your business, or yourself, in a short time frame. The name comes from the idea of bumping into the CEO or senior staff member in an elevator and trying to win them over by the time they’ve reached their floor. If your elevator pitch is successful, it will end with an exchange of business cards and a continuation of the conversation.
Of course an elevator pitch does not have to be done in an elevator, it can be done waiting in line for coffee, networking at a conference or any place you see and meet others. North sponsored the an Elevator Pitch Night event where five finalists will competed to win prizes from the Leon County Research and Development Authority and Innovation Park. Whether you are one of the finalists needing a few tips, on the job market, own your own business or simply looking to network, having a well-planned elevator pitch is a necessary and useful tool. After all, you never know who you will meet in an elevator – or anywhere!
Start a conversation.
During your elevator pitch, you only have a short amount of time to showcase yourself or your business professionally. Don’t try to cram your entire resume or your company’s mission into the pitch, simply aim to start a conversation. Once you get the ball rolling with the conversation, everything will fall into place. Try to focus on being compelling and conversational and present intriguing ideas.
Set yourself apart.
Find what sets you or your business apart from your competition. It may be your experience in public relations or a unique service that your business offers. For example, our #BossLady is a former journalist, which gives her an edge when working with reporters and sets North apart from other public relations firms. This is also a great chance for you to let them know the benefits of working with you or your business.
Call to action.
Instead of ending by the conversation with, “It was nice to meet you,” and going your separate ways, offer something that could help them with their problem or follow up with something unique about your business that would give them a great way to remember you. For example, at North we hand over our business card and say “We have a blog on our website that features an array of business advice. Please check it out!”
Practice makes perfect.
Your elevator pitch shouldn’t sound like you’re reading straight off a script or your resume. It is essential to memorize your pitch and practice to sound effortlessly conversational when it is time to present. Ask a friend or co-worker to listen to your pitch or practice in front of a mirror. With a little practice, you will be ready in no time to use your elevator speech. Don’t be discouraged if the first few times you say it, you stumble over a few words or thoughts – practice makes perfect!
What are your tips on having a unique elevator speech? Tell us at [email protected] or tweet us at @NorthPRFL!
And that’s just the straight up from North!