What Is an Elevator Pitch: How to Introduce Yourself in a Compelling Way

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You bump into the senior manager in charge of your department on your way to the office. You’ve been trying to get a meeting for weeks, but there always seems to be something in the way.

The manager turns and says, “I understand you’ve been trying to meet with me about an idea you have. Now seems like a great time.”

If you know what your elevator pitch is at that moment, you can convey valuable information. When you’re like most people in that situation, you might open your mouth without knowing where to start.

Organizing your thoughts into an elevator pitch must happen before the event. It is a pre-prepared speech that delivers concise information about who you are, what you do, or an idea you have.

When to Use an Elevator Pitch Successfully

Most people learn their first elevator pitch when they get into sales for the first time. Because of those circumstances, this interactive technique is often seen as a way to reach clients who need a product or service.

You can use an elevator pitch in numerous situations. It can be helpful for networking opportunities at your local Chamber of Commerce, when meeting with senior executives, or when telling customers about the change initiatives your company is starting.

If you’re not sure where to get started with that process, here are some tips to get those creative juices flowing.

1. Identify your goals.

What is the objective of your elevator pitch? When you have a clear idea of what you want to communicate, it’s much easier to stay on the subject. Set a specific goal to accomplish with the information you share. That way, you’ll have a way to track your success rate and tweak things that don’t seem to come across correctly.

2. Talk about what you do.

What should someone know about you if they only remember one thing? The first statement should be exciting, enthusiastic, and authentic. If you’re not passionate about what you want to communicate to others, why should the other person?

The best elevator pitches give you a surge of adrenaline because you’re getting ready to close a deal. It should quicken your pulse and put a huge smile on your face.

3. Define your unique selling proposition.

What makes your company, idea, or position unique? After introducing the thesis with your opening statement, the best elevator pitches summarize what makes the concept stand out from everything else. If you keep it simple and precise, you’ll make the information memorable.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

After discussing what makes you different (and better!), start asking some questions to see if you’re on the same page. You’ll also need to be ready to provide answers if there are follow-up queries to your initial pitch.

5. Put everything together.

Once you’ve completed each section of the elevator pitch, put the information together so that you have a seamless presentation. As you practice its delivery, use a stopwatch to time yourself on how long it takes. The entire sequence shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds. If it is too long, cut out items that don’t need to be there so that you’re not monopolizing the conversation.

It takes time to practice your elevator pitch so that it feels polished and informative to the listener. After you get the information structured appropriately, give yourself about ten minutes per day for the first week to work on the delivery. Don’t forget that various audiences might need a different interaction! That’s why it helps to have multiple versions of an elevator pitch to use.

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