When you think of elevators, you might first hear elevator music in your head.
It’s repetitive, dull, and doesn’t go anywhere. This is certainly not how you’ll want your elevator pitch to be remembered.
Why is it called an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch imagines a scenario where you’re stuck in a lift with someone to whom you’ll want to pitch. You only have a brief window of time, so you’ve got to make it count. Too long and you could miss your floor; too short and that insufferable elevator music will creep back into the stunted, awkward conversation.
According to Brandongaille
of people suffer from speech anxiety,
and around 8% of people are afraid of elevators
Here are seven steps to make a successful elevator pitch:
The key to a positive, effective elevator pitch is to get rid of any fluff. Use concise, compelling language that won’t distract your audience and will ensure you keep within any time restraints. For example:
Don’t say: “At Bramlington and Warf, my previous company, I’m sure you know of them. They make pencils in the shape of animals. Yes, they’re over in Coventry. Well there I was able to – “*Ding* That’s their floor, and they need to get out.
Instead, try: “Within my previous managerial role at Bramlington and Warf, I was able to effectively motivate my team to meet targets and exceed company expectations consistently.”
In every three days, elevators carry the equivalent of entire Earth’s population.
Read the Room
It’s always important to speak at the correct level of loudness without coming across as too loud, brash, and irritating. To practice, give your pitch at different volumes and ensure that you can be clearly understood. Furthermore, ensure that it’s an appropriate time for the pitch. Dominating a social conversation with your lecture about workplace efficiency won’t win you any favours.
The close door button will not make the doors close any faster.
Take on Board Any Feedback and React Constructively
You might not be the person they’re looking for to head up this project. They might have a question about your track record in sales. Make sure your pitch is adaptable and reactive to any questions. Here’s a situation to consider. One scenario will benefit you in the future.
Recruiter: “You’ve got a huge number of desirable skills and extensive experience. There isn’t anything open for you at the moment, but we will be in touch when any suitable positions become available.”
Don’t say: “Okay, but I really have got to stress my ability to work as part of a team. Also, I can work autonomously; I hope you understand that. Are you sure you won’t reconsider?”
Try: “I completely understand. I hope we can talk more when something comes up. Here’s my card. I look forward to speaking soon.”
Elevators are statistically the safest way to travel.
Use Some Humour
Comedy can be a great tool to convey your personable attributes. Furthermore, it allows your audience to feel more engaged with what you’re saying. Despite these positives, employing humour into your elevator pitch can be tricky. Make sure it’s:
We spend vast amounts of time slumped in chairs and leaning over computer screens. The physical effects of this can be:
It can also cause you to appear slouched and unprofessional. To combat this, make a conscious effort to sit up, walk straighter, and when the time comes to make your elevator pitch, you’ll be able to strike the ultimate power pose: sitting up straight.
To fully engage your audience, eye-contact is a great tool. Furthermore, an engaged audience is a receptive one and more likely to understand your point of view. It’s important to give equal eye-contact to each member of your audience, even if some are more responsive than others. Homing in on only one pair of eyes could give the wrong impression and damage your pitch.
Elevator music first appeared in the 1920s to calm the fearful passengers who used the elevators for the first time.
Like when James Bond locks a baddie in a freezer and says, “time to chill out.” You’ve got to leave your audience with a punchy, summarising line. Here are two scenarios and suggested finishing lines:
You’re pitching to become head of quality assurance at a rail company:
“…In summary, I want to get this company back on track.”
You want to become sales director of a rocket fuel company:
“…And that’s why I want our sales records to get the boost they deserve.”