It’s suggested that the origins of the elevator speech came from Hollywood when people would bombard producers with scripts but needed to convince them to not only read them but to set up a meeting. It is also reported as an urban myth but, nonetheless, the sentiment is valid.
Having only seconds to ‘reel’ them in (OK, bad filming pun) the message had to be concise but also exciting to draw the producer’s attention.
To this day, nothing has changed but with the increased pressure of all the social media channels, TV, visual and audio that we are continually subjected to, the barriers against success keep rising.
Here are my tips on how to create a powerful pitch that cuts through the waffle and points you in the right direction of grabbing your particular Target’s attention.
What’s the objective? First and foremost, know what you are looking to achieve. Is it to inform, ie about your organisation’s technical prowess, a new product you have developed, to set up a meeting?
What’s your solution? Inform them what it is that you do. Portray it as a solution and not simply a fact. Eg “I’m a business coach and help companies to move forward” is weak and too generalised. “I’m a gap analysis – by discovering where you are and where you want to be. We analyse and close the gaps through coaching” helps the person relate to how I may be able to help them. What problems does the person you are with have? How will your business/service address this?
What’s your USP? For those who have heard of this but unsure what it is, USP = Unique Selling Proposition. A great example: “M&Ms. The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand” states a USP and is also memorable. Either yours or your businesses’ USP should make you stand out from your rivals focusing your target’s attention without being too ‘technical’. Show benefit and be memorable.
Ask, don’t tell! All too often we are so excited about our service that we absorb in ‘tell’ and forget to ‘ask’. So engage with open ended questions starting with the W’s (What.. Where.. Why..) and throw in some How’s for good measure. Eg. “How does your organisation handle the continued development of the existing workforce?” which in turn reflects on your specialist area, coaching and training as in my case here.
If you do ask a closed question, know you do it with a follow up ‘open’ question. Eg. To continue my above example, “Unlike others who simply level out, does your organisation look for staff to continually develop?”. In this case, the question is somewhat loaded but you’re looking for the right answer to then ask the open question straight away.
Wrap it up. Prepare your presentation chronologically, as with the above, and should ideally be between 30-60 secs long maximum. Any more and it then comes across as a pitch, any less and their interest will not be captured. It has to be compelling yet swift.
The three R’s. Quite simply, rehearse, Rehearse and REHEARSE. If you have more than one elevator speech, and we highly recommended this as you never who you may encounter, insure you rehearse these too.
This is not necessarily the easiest thing to get right but with more practice, it becomes easier and Coaching to Success are here to help you achieve the desired results and the motivation to see it through.
For further information, call the elevator to our floor, contact Neil on 07761 187238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org where you’ll be assured a warm welcome to discuss how we can help.
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