Want to know how to develop an excellent elevator pitch? It would help if you learn best.
In 1983, when Return of the Jedi dominated the movie office, and people couldn’t stop listening to Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl, the story of the world’s most effective elevator pitch started.
When John Sculley became Pepsi’s president in the 1980s, he was widely regarded as one of the most innovative and daring executives in the beverage industry. Steve Jobs, who had an uncanny sense of brilliance, chose Sculley as Apple’s next CEO. Jobs envisioned Sculley leading the firm while Jobs focused on building the next great thing.
But Sculley had no plans to leave Pepsi. In their first face-to-face meeting, Jobs predicted that Apple would become the world’s leading technological computer. Sculley admired Jobs’ vision and drive but stood firm.
Jobs kept in touch with Sculley throughout the months. Jobs’ approval of the most aggressive bids did the job at Apple appealing.
No dice. Sculley liked it there. But Jobs had one more trick. He scheduled the last meeting in NYC with Sculley. Jobs didn’t argue or beg across the table from him. His pitch was brief. It was the elevator pitch.
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or changing the world?” Jobs said.
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
As a consultant, freelancer, or solopreneur, you must know how to craft your elevator pitch. No one else will. As illustrated by Steve Jobs, an elevator pitch is a concise, effective message.
If you can’t present your elevator pitch in under 25 seconds, it isn’t an elevator pitch. If you’re still chatting when the elevator doors open, you’ve failed.
Compared to Steve Jobs’ epic one-liner, this elevator pitch is a masterpiece of condensing vital information into a short container. Let’s examine this pitch’s effectiveness.
- It starts with a traveler’s annoyance: hotel rates
- It utilizes Couchsurfing to show passengers want alternatives to hotels.
- Its services are positioned between luxury hotels and the primitive essence of sleeping on a couch.
- It shows how vacationers may save money and locals can earn additional money.
- It demonstrates Airbnb’s financial viability and profits from the business.
This information may have been presented in a massive booklet to a newbie. And nobody reads brochures. Airbnb’s finest brains understood that they needed an elevator pitch if they wanted to be heard.
Airbnb’s elevator pitch may be used in many ways. For example, the founders may have used it to acquire an early loan. It might be used to form collaborations with other brands. This pitch might be used on Airbnb.com to assist visitors in understanding the company’s mission and goal.
How to Write Your Elevator Pitch
You are an expert. Your results are notable, and your services unique. The difficulty will be to construct an elevator pitch that communicates these facts.
Let’s dissect what makes an excellent elevator pitch template.
Name the Objective:
When word count is constrained, your goal becomes more critical. So, what is the point of this pitch? Is it to tell strangers what you do? And if so, how can you persuade a potential customer that you are the solution?
Assume you are a consultant. Every year at the Christmas get-together, you’re asked about your employment and tired of explaining what a consultant performs to your relatives? You may swiftly exit the conversation with an elevator pitch and get some food from the buffet table.
Use this instructive pitch with college buddies, neighbors, or strangers on a plane. But it’s useless to a potential client. In that case, skip the explanations, focus on your skills and help the customer.
This tutorial will focus on customer pitches because they are critical for your career.
Justify Your Existence:
What drives you? Steve Jobs wanted to alter the world. Airbnb connects visitors with locals.
So, what pulls you out of bed? Then promote yourself as the solution. Airbnb gives a non-couch, non-hotel option for travelers.
If you’re a freelance writer, you’ve probably heard about material overload. In a world when words are less important than ever, you connect through messages. Your writing is so powerful that it makes readers want to lean in closer.
Reveal Your Secret Ingredients:
It’s one thing to declare your work is superior to others, but you must prove it. It is where your USP comes in.
Your essay is compelling because you’ve done a substantial study on persona-based approach, perhaps. These insights help you fine-tune your speech.
Maybe you’re a natural storyteller who can naturally engage others and connect with their emotions.
Consider the Call to Action: So, once you present your pitch, what do you want your audience to do? In any case, there should be a strong desire to act.
If you are a freelance graphic designer, your pitch may focus on your unique approach to your work and how it benefits clients. If you address the audience, the pitch becomes more personal and impactful. Here’s a generic:
“My user-centered design approach guarantees users can not only browse websites but also connect with them meaningfully.”
And here’s an upgraded version with only a little tailoring:
“My UX-focused design approach ensures that your clients can not only browse but also engage with your websites.”
Depending on your approach, you may say something like, “Let’s work together to make sure your websites work as hard and wisely as the rest of your team.” You might also ask for a 30-minute meeting to explore how to make this happen.
Refine the Structure: Now that you have all the required components, it’s time to shape your pitch. It is your chance to play with the line order and the emphasis.
Writers are sometimes urged to “kill your darlings,” which means to remove any extraneous features or elements. The same logic applies. The fact that an elevator pitch maybe 25 seconds lengthy does not imply it should. Steve Jobs’ legendary pitch to John Sculley probably lasted 6 seconds.
Internalize It: The finest elevator pitches are offered from memory and heart. You should learn your pitch so you can use it at any time. No amount of reciting will help.
Your pitch should also be passionate. You should be able to speak naturally and convincingly. Each time you share it, tailor it to the person you’re speaking to.
You must practice your pitch to perfect it. On paper, certain words and phrases appear amazing, but when spoken, they sound odd.
Set a calendar reminder to review your customized elevator pitch every quarter. Make any required modifications throughout this quick session to ensure the words are still easy to communicate.
Also, rehearse your pitch if you’re alone in an elevator. It is not only a tribute to the pitch’s roots, but it will also help you refine your pitch for the 10th floor.
Improve Your Elevator Pitch
While virtually all elevator pitch templates should include specific elements, several methods should modify and enhance your pitch. Here are 3 easy suggestions for a memorable pitch.
- Timing and Word Count: It’s tempting for businesses to cram as much marketing as possible into a little space. But don’t let the 25-second rule dictate your pitch. During practice, pay attention to your speech rate. You may need to remove extra words to make your proposal more palatable.
- Keep it Fresh: Your 2014 elevator pitch will not make it this year. The world has changed, so has a business, and most importantly, you. So keep the grass off your pitch. If you haven’t changed it in 6 months, it’s probably time.
- Another Variation: Remember how to adjust your pitch for various situations? Every time you revisit your pitch, consider a new context for it. Then think about the unique characteristics that will help it stand out.