Are you a start-up or a small business approaching investors to invest in your company? Are you a freelancer trying to approach clients? Do you need help articulating your needs, demands, or ideas to people? Then this blog is the perfect place to get tips and tricks that will enable you to do so.
People nowadays do not have hours to listen to your ideas and plans. You must have heard this dialogue in movies – 'You have 2 minutes to explain your idea', 'Go ahead and tell me your plan in a minute', and many more. The average human has an attention span of just 8.25 seconds according to recent studies. It is reducing year by year. So, to grab attention one needs to communicate a lot in a few words.
It is not easy as it sounds. When there is no time restraint you can explain your thoughts elaborately. Can build the story slowly, beat around the bush and go back and forth in your speech. Cooking an elaborate story is easier than saying it in a line.
All these problems are solved with one thing- an elevator pitch.
What is an elevator pitch?
Say you are in an elevator with another person. The amount of information you can convey to them during the time you both are in the elevator is an elevator pitch. In simple words, an elevator pitch is a brief way of introducing yourself and conveying your ideas to the other person. It spans from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
"The purpose of an elevator pitch is just to get me interested in asking the next question," - Nicole Glaros, chief product officer of Techstars.
This means you do not need to say everything in your pitch, just enough to intrigue the listener into knowing more about it.
How was it introduced?
There are many stories as to how elevator pitch was born. The most fascinating one is one in which it is said that the pioneer Elisha Otis himself gave the first-ever elevator pitch. In 1853 many buildings were already equipped with elevators and they were considered dangerous, and only as stable as their weakest rope.
Otis had a vision for a newer, safer way. But rather than try to sell his invention with complicated engineering speech, he decided to demonstrate his ingenuity. At a convention center, in front of the entire crowd, Otis set up a display of an open elevator shaft, hoisted himself three stories up, and cut his supporting rope with an axe. At first, the crowd gasped, but then breathed a sigh of relief. Otis's stopping mechanism brought his elevator to a safe halt before hitting the ground. In less than 30 seconds Elisha Otis showed the world the value of what he was selling.
How is it relevant to freelancers and entrepreneurs?
For freelancers, it is crucial to hone these skills because when they interact with clients they can stand out among the crowd of other freelancers. It gives them an edge as the client gets intrigued to know more.
Moreover, if freelancers want to work as consultants in big agencies, they will need these skills to pitch their expertise to the agency.
Elevator pitches sharpen your vocabulary and help you filter the essence of what you want to say. This can help you in writing LinkedIn bios as well.
For entrepreneurs, it is crucial because they must pitch their business several times to get funding, partners, investors, etc.
The show Shark Tank is the best place to see how elevator pitches work. Entrepreneurs come and explain their business in less than 2 minutes. This is followed by questions from the investors and then if they are interested, they give you the funding. Many times investors do not like the product or service so much but just because of how it was presented they invested in it.
Tips and tricks
To give an amazing elevator pitch you need to practice how to frame one. Write down the crux of what you want to convey. Make pointers of it.
Now build a story around it. the pitch needs to be like a story. You have to first explain the problem that people are facing and then go to your product and say how it solves them.
Nobody likes a boring pitch. Hence pitch it like an interesting story.
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