As mentioned in my previous article, How Leisure Traveling Benefits Entrepreneurs, can you imagine running into Bill Gates or Warren Buffett? What would you say to them to get their attention? Before knowing what an elevator pitch was, I would most likely be in shock, start hyperventilating, and start stuttering. (I mean, come-on, these are the world’s richest people! Obviously, they’re doing something right!) I’d make a complete fool of myself and trying to state my name would be a hassle.
Elevator pitches are short and concise sales pitches about yourself. It’s perceived that they should be roughly 30 seconds long. (I suppose that’s about how long elevator rides take. Hence the name, ‘elevator pitch’.) However, the original 30 second elevator pitch is boring and unmemorable. That’s where a short one-line elevator pitch comes into play.
Pitching yourself can be hard. You want to create a lasting impression in which they remember you because of something you said. Heck, maybe it’s something you did like Will Smith solving the Rubix Cube in the movie, ‘Pursuit of Happiness’.
Here are some helpful hints for crafting your perfect one-liner:
Who Are You
Define who you are. Obviously, you want to state your name. But who are you and what do you do? Literally, jot down on a piece of paper who you are and what you do. (I rarely have a writing utensil and paper on hand so I either text myself or store it on my phone’s notepad app.)
- noble father/nurturing mother
- reputable lawyer
- licensed accountant
- volunteer for an animal shelter
- revenue generating salesman
- business graduate at Johnson & Wales University
- blog contributor for aguynamedty.wordpress.com
Make Them Care
You need to make them care about what you’re saying. Tug on their heart-strings a little. If you watch Shark Tank, some contestants get an investment because the ‘Sharks’ or investors, are intrigued emotionally. In the end, give them a reason to remember your name.
Not only do you need to have a great one-line elevator pitch, you need to be able to back up what you are saying. If you tell someone you’re a “revenue generating salesman”, you better be able to back it up. Know what your sales were, know your annual percentage growth rate, competitor sales, and projections. Be knowledgeable and show credibility.
Practice Makes Perfect
Seems simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people start stuttering when they are put-on-the-spot. Your pitch should be memorized.
Be aware of your body language! Your body language conveys just as much information as your words do. In addition, maintain eye contact throughout. A lot of younger people struggle with this one. Not only does increased eye contact make you seem more appealing, it also improves the quality of the conversation.
I recommend practicing in front of a mirror or to a colleague. A mirror will let you see for yourself how you look while a colleague will be able to give you constructive feedback.
Here is my elevator pitch!
“My names Tyler Hutchins and I’m an entrepreneur at heart who wants to turn my dreams into a reality”.
*Notice, I didn’t state what my dreams are. The reasoning for this is that it opens the door further for a conversation. The question that is anticipated is, “What are your dreams”? That’s my window-of-opportunity.