Is Your Pitch Perfect

During a Networkers session I go to, each member has a minute to introduce who they are, what they do and what they can offer or in some cases what they might be looking for. The Harvard Business School online states ‘Whether you are trying to raise capital, promote your company, or promote yourself, it’s essential to have an elevator pitch. You need to communicate your main message quickly, clearly, and distinctly to someone who doesn’t even know you. A good pitch takes planning and practice to deliver it quickly, on the spot, and under pressure.’
Rather than being to close the deal, the goal of an elevator pitch is to just set the hook; to start a conversation, or dialogue, with the audience. However, and most importantly, an elevator pitch is a teaching tool designed to give the audience just enough information that they will have a sense of what you are talking about and want to know more. Second, and just as importantly, it is designed to not give the audience so much information so that they feel overwhelmed (and tune you out). Think drinking fountain, not fire hose, or as Shakespeare put it ‘brevity is the soul of wit’.You’ve heard the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” and this is particularly true when you first meet potential new business prospects. Here are 10 tips to craft your perfect effective elevator pitch:
1. Write down what you do in several different ways without holding back or editing.
2. Visualize what you do for people and write a very short story that illustrates it.
3. Write down your objective or goal. Do you want to make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, earn a referral, or something else?
4. Write 10-20 action statements. This is your ‘call to action’ designed to spur the action associated with your goal.
5. Record yourself. Use your mobile and listen back to gauge how you sound.
6. Sleep on it and let your mind work on your pitch. Revisit it the next day or later on in the same day.
7. Highlight the good stuff. Listen and read through what you’ve recorded and written. Pick the phrases that hook you with clear, powerful, and visual words.
8. Test out your versions on your mobile, colleagues, friends and family, to get feedback. The goal is 30-60 seconds maximum.
9. Once you are comfortable with your final elevator pitch and write it down. Memorize and practice it until it just slides off your tongue naturally.
10. Continue to improve it over time to make your message more clear and impactful.
So what’s your elevator pitch?

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