Elevator Pitch Quick Fix

“Hi, my name’s John, and I specialise in helping companies just like yours…”
We hear messages like this all the time at networking events, and I don’t think I’m the only person who tunes out within the first sentence.

Don’t do it. Don’t be the person who spends all night talking about yourself and your interests. Your elevator pitch should start a conversation, not finish one!
In my performing work, I’ve listened to (honestly!) thousands of elevator pitches, and the most successful are

 

Simple

Easy to remember

Provocative and/or intriguing

Not ‘salesy’!

An invitation to the other person to start speaking

Short!

 

There’s a simple formula to help you achieve this with your own elevator pitch. It contains three parts:

 

1. Who are you?

2. What’s interesting/memorable/intriguing/provocative about you/your company?

3. What do you want/Why are you here tonight?

 

Most people never get past the  first one!
It’s really crucial that your elevator pitch contains something memorable, or intriguing. If we’re honest, we are (to most people) quite forgettable. Making it easy for people to remember you will help you to have better conversations, and make more connections. People will be happier to stay connected after the event, when you send follow-up messages, invitations etc, it’s more likely that they’ll stick.
Here is a real-world example that one of my clients came up with for some personal events he was attending:
“My name’s John, and I’m a keen sportsman. I’m really hoping to take some time off work, and climb three mountains for charity. At the moment, I’m hoping to meet some people who might be able to advise me…”
Notice that with a few words, you’ve got a really clear sense of ‘who’ John is and what drives him. He hasn’t sold you anything, but if you met him at a networking event, you’d find it very easy to keep the conversation going and to some extent you’d look for chances to help – you might even be able to help him yourself, or know someone who can.
And chances are very good that if John uses this elevator pitch with 50 people, he’ll have all the help he needs!
Next, we’ll look at other examples from professional events. Try this structure out and let me know –  how did you get on?

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