What to Consider When Building an Elevator Pitch

The deal

In business you may find yourself in a situation that requires a strong elevator pitch. This pitch is a short description of who you are, what you do and why someone should join you in a business venture. This can range from getting hired for a project to attracting venture capitalists to invest in your project. The name comes from a hypothetical situation that places you in an elevator with the person to whom you need to convey an idea. You only have the length of the elevator ride to do so. Here are three things to keep in mind when crafting an elevator pitch to ensure its power and effectiveness:

Demonstrate how you are uniqueYou introduce yourself during an elevator pitch. How do you want the listener to remember you? Think of specific words that will convey the image you are crafting for yourself and incorporate these into your introduction. Clearly, you need to demonstrate your value. The listener needs to understand how you would prove an asset to his or her company. The listener should think that you are unique—that you are, in essence, indispensable. The listener shouldn’t think that you are simply better than other candidates for your position. He or she should think that you are a different type of candidate altogether. You are the one person who can do what you do. If you don’t have an exclusive or rare skill-set, think about developing one that would make you the lynchpin of an organization. If you can be easily replaced, you need to rethink how you are selling yourself.

Convey your goals and enthusiasmThe most successful mindset for business ventures is one full of volition and drive. For all purposes pertaining to this elevator pitch, your past accomplishments were not a matter of circumstance. You saw a problem. You solved it. You brought your past goals to fruition. Now, you will bring the listener’s goals to fruition for them. Your goals should not be vague and unrealistic. You want the listener to think you are ambitious but your immediate goals should be tangible and practical—well-defined objectives that you have already crafted plans to accomplish.

Speak simply and clearlyIn an elevator pitch, you do not have a lot of time to convey a wealth of information to your listener. Feel free to further flesh out your history and the intricacies of your resume during a future meeting. For the elevator pitch, however, do not try to impress the listener with obscure words or complex stories. Speak simply and speak clearly. You want to pick the right words. If you use the right words, they will speak volumes. You want your listener to retain what you say. Often when people don’t have anything to say, they start speaking incomprehensibly. If your words and messages carry weight, let them do so. You want to put forth the best image of yourself possible but that image includes sincerity. Do not bend the facts and attempt to trick the listener. You have value. You are unique. If you plan ahead, you can clearly define goals about which you are enthusiastic. The key to a well-executed elevator pitch is to trim out all the superfluous information and magnify the best you have to offer.