Elevator Pitch Tips

As part of the branding work I do with entrepreneurs, at some point we often discuss the best way to talk about their business, what some would call an elevator pitch. These tips below are useful if this is on your mind. They’re taken from an article by Deborah Riegel on Fast Company’s website:

Don’t speak the way you write. “I help individuals, couples, and families make sound financial plans so that they don’t outlive their money” may read well on a website, but doesn’t sound the way people really talk. When speaking, you might start with, “I’m a financial planner, and I make sure my clients don’t outlive their money.” Much more compelling, genuine and even fun.

Utilize common vernacular (aka, use the simplest language possible). Your organization’s mission statement may talk about serving “the growing population of at-risk adolescents” but most people would say “kids who are at risk” in regular conversation. So say that.

Turn your pitch into a question. If you’re a professional organizer, ask “You know that pile of papers you’ve got somewhere in your house that you’ve been meaning to get through? As a professional organizer, I help people finally get through it.”

Practice saying your pitch out loud, with feedback. Rehearse it until it sounds completely unrehearsed (ironic, but important), and then get feedback on how “real” you sound rather than how “polished” you come across.

Be willing to forgo your pitch entirely. If you’re already making a warm connection with someone and they ask you what you do, don’t risk bringing a cold pitch into the conversation. Just say what you do – and more importantly, find out what the other person does and show genuine curiosity about them.