Pitch perfect – the importance of an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a quick, well planned overview or summary that describes what your

business does. The term elevator pitch originated when a person tried to sell something during a short elevator ride. If the person was not interested they could get off the elevator at the next floor. The whole point of an elevator pitch is to capture someone’s attention and quickly tell your story and at the same time create interest.

Why do you need one?

You never know when a business opportunity will pop up! Some entrepreneurs rely on improvisation when making a quick pitch. They believe an over-rehearsed pitch can sound too mechanical or fake. But not having a plan can backfire. If you wing it, you could stumble on your words or forget to mention something important about your business. Have you ever listened to someone say ‘hmmm’ quite a few times during a quick conversation? The person listening loses interest quickly. If you truly have a passion for what you do, it will come across during the pitch.

Having an elevator pitch prepared ahead of time can help you develop clear, concise points about your business so that you aren’t stumbling on your words. Having a plan can help make you look like the expert. If you aren’t able present yourself properly during a pitch you can lose out on an opportunity.  Your pitch is an excellent way to start off a conversation at a networking event or seminar.

Points to remember when developing an elevator pitch:

  • Make sure your pitch answers who, what, where, when, why and how
  • Keep it short and sweet – You have approximately thirty seconds to two minutes
  • Less is more – keep the wording simple
  • Practice makes perfect – Rehearse you pitch but keep it natural
  • Offer something at no risk (e.g. let’s get together and I can give you a few tips on…)
  • Make eye contact
  • Shake hands with conviction
  • Follow up

You can only make a first impression once!  Make sure that your elevator pitch clearly defines you and your business.  Create interest and make a lasting impression.

One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at halton.ca/smallbusiness, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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