How to draft and deliver a great elevator pitch
Succinctly summarising a great new idea, why you started your business, or even your company’s ethos can be tricky. Doing it in a short space of time when put on the spot can be near-on impossible, but sometimes it’s your only chance to tell an influential figure exactly why your business needs to be on their radar.
That’s where elevator pitches come in. Based on the idea of delivering the summary within the same time it takes to ride a lift, it’s your chance to make a great first impression and consequently generate interest in your company.
Having your elevator pitch ready is the best way to nail an unplanned opportunity. Here you’ll find our tips to help you plan your elevator pitch, plus a few brilliant examples from some of the businesses who attended StartUp 2018.
What to include in an elevator pitch:
The key to crafting a good pitch is to keep it short and to the point, with all the relevant information condensed into around 60 seconds. Explain the genuine customer need for the product or service in the market, its unique selling point, what differentiates the product from its competitors, and the business model. Try answering these questions with short, snappy sentences:
- Name – who are you?
- Company – what’s your business called and who started it?
- Product or service – what do you do?
- Target consumer – who will benefit from your solution and why?
- Unique selling point – what makes you stand out from the competition?
- Performance – do you have any key results or achievements that should be shared?
- Vision – what’s your vision for the future?
- Call to action – how can I help you?
Our seven tips for delivering a brilliant pitch
1. Be attention grabbing:
An elevator pitch is key to sparking interest in your business, selling your product or service, and raising money from investors. So, the priority for the pitch should be to capture the listener's attention and make them want to hear more.
2. Avoid jargon:
The purpose of an elevator pitch is to get your message across clearly. Using complicated business jargon and buzzwords that don’t really add any value can undermine your message.
3. Focus on your listener
Draw listeners in by addressing their needs. If it sounds like a marketing spiel, people tend to switch off. Flip the process of writing a pitch: it should not be a list of features of the product, but it should focus on telling listeners how it can help solve genuine problems.
4. Back up what you’re saying with evidence
Mention any big achievements or major milestones in your pitch. Risk perception is a big barrier for investors, so you can put them at ease by telling them that you have a product or service with proven results.
5. Show some personality
It is important to show enthusiasm and even emotion to help your audience see why you do what you do. People buy into other people.
6. Keep it natural
While the content of the pitch is important, so is the overall presentation and this will hugely impact the response you get. This is a personal interaction, and it should feel natural. The pitch should be conversational and leave scope for questions to be asked and opinions to be shared.
7. Provide a clear call to action
Include a call to action that provides clear next steps on how people can get in touch with you. Don’t read out a telephone number that nobody will remember, but give your website address and social media handles.
See it in action
We invited attendees of StartUp 2018 to give us their elevator pitches. There were a lot to review, so we asked Direct Line for Business’s Jazz Gakhal to whittle it down to her top ten. You can read her thoughts on how she did it, and watch her top video below:
You can watch the rest of the top ten pitches on our YouTube playlist.