5 Tips to Write a Killer Elevator Pitch
By Geralyne Kaye Ong
Perhaps a term more commonly used at interviews or meetings, an elevator pitch describes a condensed executive summary of sorts, which conveys a concept across to an audience in less than a minute. So how does one successfully condense all important facts, figures and other supporting evidence to support a concept? Here are 5 tips to crafting a killer elevator pitch for your next meeting or interview.
Concision is Key
With less than a minute to capture your audience’s attention, each sentence should be impactful, strong, direct and yet easy to understand. A few simple rules:
· One idea per sentence
· No longer than 30 words a sentence
· Get straight to the point - try not to include long leading sentences
· Keep the context relatable and personal
Example: “Alice thinks Jimmy might or might not have feelings of affection towards her.” This sentence can be condensed into: “Alice suspects that Jimmy likes her.”
Skip Tricky Words
Words which are either too profound or difficult to pronounce should be excluded. If a pitch is laced with jargons, uncommon or profound words, your audience might end up focusing their attention to deciphering its meaning, instead of paying attention to your pitch. Difficult to pronounce words like “discombobulated” or “pro bono publico” might look great on a report but definitely not when used during a pitch.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
One key point of an elevator pitch is to ensure that your concept or product’s USP is clearly conveyed to your audience. What features make it different from its closest competitor? Example: “transportation predicting software for public transport in the market are only 70% accurate, but with our program we have managed to attain 85% accuracy during our beta test phase.”
Include a Question
Including a question at any point of your speech is a great way to recapture or bring attention to a particular feature you want to focus on. Try to phrase an open-ended question, to encourage question and conversation post-pitch. An example of an open-ended question would be “What are your thoughts about your company’s induction programme?”
Practice, Practice and More Practice
There is no escape, practice does make a huge difference! Recite your pitch in front of the mirror, while showering, in front of others and at any other opportunity you have. With practice, delivery is almost guaranteed to be smoother, which then also makes you sound more confident. Particular attention should also be paid to your own facial expressions and body language, as it tells as much to your audience as the words in your pitch do. Some actions which should be avoided include excessive hand movements, crossing of arms and fidgeting of hair or attire.
Follow these pointers closely, and rest assured that you will be able to craft a compelling and impactful pitch. However, if crafting a pitch is not all that you are looking to improve on, here are some related courses which might help you with your search.