Networking in a room filled with hundreds of people is difficult. You have less than a minute to capture someone’s attention and make a lasting impression. Elevator pitches are essential for any modern-day professional, but especially those involved with early-stage companies. It is the perfect way to get your foot in the door and entice people to learn more about your work and ideas.
Preparing an elevator pitch is important as it allows you to organize your thoughts and be prepared when someone asks you about yourself or your company. Your pitch is a conversation starter; it allows someone to quickly get to know you. It’s known as an elevator pitch because you usually only have 30–60 seconds to give your spiel, the amount of time you would be in an elevator with another person. The quality of your pitch could determine if the other person wants to part ways at the next floor or continue the conversation.
How to perfect your elevator pitch:
Write it down.
Take an index card and write down important information about you and your company that you think should be shared. Who are you? What do you do? What makes you different? What are your hopes for the future?
An elevator pitch isn’t supposed to convey your whole resume or explain the entire history of your company. Focus on the highlights.
Practice makes perfect.
Confidence is a result of practice. Know what you want to say before you’re asked. Practice in a mirror or try it on another person.
Practice is important, but you don’t want to sound like a robot. Have points memorized but be ready to improvise – you never know when you might be interrupted or asked a question.
Know your audience.
Before starting, try to find out a little about the other person so you can tailor your pitch. If you are conversing with someone within your industry, you can be more specific about your work or company. If the other person is outside your sphere, try to connect your work with something that may be relevant to them.
It’s about more than just words.
Consider your body language. Do you look engaging? Are you smiling? Do you have good posture? Are you dressed to impress? Do you have a business card you can provide?
Engage your audience.
Finish your pitch with a question that will keep the conversation going!
Once you perfect your pitch, introduce yourself to new people. Promote your innovative ideas. Turn your pitch into a video to share online. The networking opportunities are endless.