During my travels through the internet, I came across a rather interesting tool from the Harvard School of Business.
The toolhelps you to build the perfect elevator pitch. OK, it may not make the perfect pitch, you actually need a human being and some passion for that, but what it does nicely is get you into the right frame of mind.
It’s smart, easy to use and it teaches you the structure of a pitch. It won’t however make the pitch for you. You still need to do some homework.
Know Your Audience: There is little value in creating a pitch that delivers perfectly what you want, but has no resonance with your audience. You’re not pitching yourself. You’re also not going to want to deliver the same message regardless of who you’re speaking to.
Be brief and clear: It seems like an obvious statement, but being succinct does not mean become cryptic. You need to be brief and clear. Your great aunt Petunia and your eight year old nephew should be able to understand it.
Answer Essential Questions: If the response to your pitch is, huh? You haven’t been clear enough. Make sure that your audience knows exactly what you want from them and that you answer that age old question, “What’s in it for me?”
No Pick-Up Lines: If you use a line like, “Heaven must be missing an investor angel because you’re here with me right now.” Not only will you come off as cheesy, but also cliched. Get their attention, but do it with grace. Go left if they expect you to go right. Use humor, gently.
When I talk about my experience, people typically assume that I learned about government relations during my 8 years on Parliament Hill. I always respond the same way. “GR on parliament hill? No, I didn’t learn anything about government relations while I was there, I learned all about public relations, because that’s who our audience was.”
My answer is unexpected, so it becomes memorable. It’s not rocket science, it just shows a little unexpected logic.
Renew It: Don’t take your pitch for granted. Always consider new ways of delivering it. Refine and refresh it over time.
Have you ever delivered a great pitch in a pinch? Have you ever been sold something because the pitch was too good to refuse? I’d love to hear your views.