One wonders if there is a cookbook for the best elevator pitch but I don’t believe there is. It’s all in our head and its ultimately what kind of impression we want to make, at the end of the day.Poornima Matthan
The very thought of unravelling your story in 3-5 minutes to a complete stranger (or not!) can be a daunting and unsettling proposition. But its possible…businesses have been won, people have been recruited and successes have been duly granted through this. So fret not.
If we look at our every day lives, we tell and live stories constantly, in an extraordinary sense. We live stories, we breathe stories, we dream stories, we weave stories. So really, its not that hard to crunch all these lovely pitches and stories into a 5 minute pitch. It takes practice and its an art …and its possible!
1. Be well appointed to grab attention
Its an old adage but stay well-dressed at all times because you never know who you will meet. To top that off, remember to smile. A cheery disposition can turn around any state of mind and is always bound to grab attention. Nobody likes to engage with a grouchy companion. Next and most important, exude confidence. You have to show an attitude that you know your stuff. A wallflower doesn’t progress very far and never makes the mark. Stay humble; don’t be cocky. No one likes to listen to a ‘I know it all’ man or woman. Speak slowly, maintain eye contact; omit the unnecessary words. Remember you only have 5 minutes to wing it!
2. Its about you and your idea
Talk about what drives you in your life and why you do what you do. Engage the listener, let him/her know what inspired you to think up this proposition. Then state the value of your proposition and talk about how you will go about changing or impacting the prospects or bottom line of your audience. What makes your idea different from what’s out there already in the industry. Answer the questions he may have, clearly and precisely.
3. The tag line
The central theme shapes your whole pitch. Make sure that the top 3 benefits of your idea tie in with your tag line. It’s very much like copywriting for an ad; First you craft your tag line and the storyboard is what packs the punch. Make sure your tag line has a ring to it. It needs to pack in all the benefits of your solution in one simple catchy line. If you have to describe the tag line in a tune, do it, just to be different!
4. Call to Action:
Ask your listener politely, if he/she has any questions. Share your contact details and try to schedule an appointment with your listener to take your idea forward. Use words that provoke emotion e.g. if you log on to our website today you can avail of xxx. Take advantage of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
5. Be creative, Be unusual
If your idea is about a product, you could carry a sample product at all times and talk about it. Carry some light, colourful props if you have to enhance your pitch to make it fun and zippy. Take some tips from the movies! Use a bit of animation if you have to but don’t overdo it. Don’t hand over your business card. Its an online world today so think of something different that your listener will be bowled over with.
At the end of the day, it’s all about your verve, your passion and your focus. It all boils down to how badly you want to win that business…how badly you want to make a difference and how keen you are for your listener to share your story with someone else.
Go out there and practice your pitch, your storytelling flair. You may not get it right the first time but eventually, you will.
We come across many strangers in our lives and it’s a choice we make to create an impression on some of them. And that choice lies only with us. So got out there and tell it with soul and conviction.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)