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Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Have you heard about the famous Elevator Pitch?

This popular show allows young entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a board of investors for 60 seconds.

You get to pitch your idea within that time- the exact time an elevator takes to jump from one floor to the next.

If investors like their pitch, the young entrepreneurs are invited into the boardroom to make a potential deal.

Just 60 seconds is all it takes to make a lasting impression on the investors and convince them to put their money on the table. But, 60 seconds is not enough to give a clear picture of the idea, the pain points of customers, and the different revenue-generating channels to bring money.

No, the time is way too short, and many things can go wrong.

So, entrepreneurs have to be transparent in their minds while meeting them inside the elevator. Any amount of sweet talk can snatch away those precious few seconds.

Also, the pitch must be clear, crisp, precise, and to the point.

Do you think you can nail a 60 seconds elevator pitch with your business idea?

Here’s a list of easy tricks and tips to help all entrepreneurs nail their first business pitch in 60 seconds.

Tip #1: Prepare Yourself from Scratch

Yes! Practice and prepare; practice and then prepare unless you get your pitch correct.

So, the first thing you need to do is pick a blank piece of paper and jot down a few points about –

What is your story (in brief)

What is your business idea?

What are your mission, vision, and long-term goals

What are your business objectives?

What is your niche?

What is your customer segment?

What are your customer’s pain points?

What is your solution?

What is your business plan?

What is your business model?

What is your marketing model?

What is your revenue model?

Once you have penned down the answers for ’11 whats’, you can picture your business idea and how that idea can bring value to your customers.

It would be best if you were clear in your head and fully convinced about your startup. Unless you convince yourself about your business idea, you can never convince your pet dog even (pun intended).

Now, for the second tip –

Tip #2: Do Your Homework Properly

Yes! Nothing can override the power of doing your homework correctly.

No, we are not sending you back to school. We ask you to know everything about the niche you are focusing on and the customer segment you plan to target.

That includes a good understanding of the key players in that niche and your potential competitors.

Remember, you must convince your investors that your business can help your customers address their most pressing needs. But, if you are unaware that other companies are thinking along the same lines, you will lose the chance.

Memorize valuable statistics about your customers and their problems. Do not forget to add them here and there in your pitch to elucidate your points. If there are potential competitors, you need to understand how your business idea differs from theirs.

Again, start from scratch if you fail to find the difference. That is by identifying the loopholes. Think about areas that your competitors are not focusing on. Or places that need attention.

Once you identify them, you can start rebuilding your business idea around them.

Also, understanding the purchase behavior of your customers is equally important. That will help you to create your marketing and promotional strategies accordingly.

So know the market, understand the niche and the industry, and learn everything about your customers.

That will help you to convince your investors.

They should know that you are well aware of what is happening around you. Investors should understand that you are unlike any other graduate who wishes to make easy money by forming a company.

Your investors should believe that you are willing to bring some change to the existing world.

Tip #3: Eliminate Redundancies

After your draft with answers to 11 questions and data about the market, it is time to read through the points.

You will come across many redundancies, mistakes, and unclear messages. So, it would help if you started eliminating unnecessary details and business jargon from the script. That’s because an elevator pitch will not give you enough bandwidth to recite history.

Highlight the good points in your pitch and use terms that can convince your investors. Avoid using flashy vocabulary. No one is interested to know how well you are at public speaking.

The elevator pitch is all about your business idea. So make it all about your business only.

Use sentences that do not sound vague or fake. Instead, craft pitch points that will engage your audience and convince them simultaneously.

Yes! It is not easy. But, an elevator pitch is not impossible. Believe in yourself and your ideas. That will help you to nail the 60-second pitch like a pro.

Moving ahead, our next helpful tip will be –

Tip #4: Organize Your Pitch Properly

Yes! That is important.

Your pitch should not break your investors’ line of thought – meaning you cannot start by talking about your idea, about the market trends, then go back to your business goals, then jump back to the competitors, and return to customer pain points. In between, you throw a few statistics and so on.

That approach is a BIG NO!

Your pitch should have a proper flow and gradually paint the picture in the investors’ minds that you want them to see.

But, if the flow in your pitch is missing, your investors will miss the actual message you are trying to convey and eventually lose interest in your idea altogether.

They do not want to hear business pitches scattered all over the place.

You do not wish to give them the idea that you are a cluttered person yourself. They will think that your business will end up just like that.

So maintain that flow, starting from the introduction to the conclusion.

Tip #5: Add an Attention-Grabber Information

Yes! It would help if you focused on that.

Either you can kick off your pitch with a famous quotation. Or quantitative data not only highlights the pressing problem in the market but the data also drops hints about the plausible solution you are about to suggest.

Make sure the opening statement of your pitch should be attention-grabbing. The message should intrigue your listeners and make them want to hear more.

But that intensity should remain constant all through the pitch. Otherwise, your investors will soon lose interest in what you are saying.

The message should be clear too! And compelling enough to make them take out their checkbooks right on the spot.

Tip #6: Check Your Time

Since you are preparing for an elevator pitch, you should be well aware of your time. You cannot go on and on about irrelevant information and lose time even placing your idea on the table.

So, you should practice your pitch delivery while riding the elevator in your building or the elevator of your office or a shopping mall. It doesn’t matter if you find a place to get your pitch in sync with the elevator timings.

That will give you enough clarity about the duration and the essential points you should mention during the elevator.

So, go back and start making some changes in the draft.

Tip #7: Have a Proper Closure

This part you cannot omit from your elevator pitch.

Every business proposal should have a proper closure. This works like the call-to-action message in an ad copy or a social media post.

Something like – “Get 40% Off on Weekend Meals. Subscribe Now!”

The ‘subscribe now’ section is your call to action.

So, your elevator pitch should have a similar crisp and clear CTA message that will make them take action towards your business proposition. Don’t play with your words because your last few seconds are ticking away fast.

Keep it short and crisp.

Something like – “With your help, we can bring the power of the Sun to power every home on Earth. Are you ready to save Earth from further damage? Then say yes to the Power of Solar Energy.’

Yeah, maybe the closure is not that great. But, it does give an excellent end to the business proposal and summarizes the entire pitch in two sentences.

Yes! Crafting an elevator pitch is not that easy.

But, it is still a business proposal that you are preparing for your venture. The only thing you should keep in mind is the time. Do not get carried away while giving your pitch.

Keep a note of the seconds flying by.

To nail an elevator pitch to perfection, you must prepare and practice quite a bit. Do not leave your preparation till the very last minute. You will get overwhelmed with keeping your message clear and keeping up with the time.

Practice makes perfect. And practice can make your elevator pitch perfect too!

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