Pitch Perfect: Craft Mind-Blowing Elevator Pitches Right Now

Pitch Perfect: Craft Mind-Blowing Elevator Pitches Right Now

Can you sell your product or personal brand to a stranger in 30 seconds?

Whether the very thought of an elevator pitch makes you break out into a cold sweat, or you embrace the challenge with confidence, make the most of your chance moments with these #Stout tips.

So what, exactly, is an “elevator pitch”?

The name itself comes from the average 20-30 seconds of an elevator ride, although “elevator” pitches can happen at an airport gate, a coffee shop line, or just about anywhere you may have a brief but opportune moment with someone who is interested in what you do.
Stout has rounded up advice, best practices and helpful hints for crafting your own pitch from marketing consultant Robyn Roste, career coach Hallie Crawford, business developer Jeff Manning and the content team from MindTools.

#Stout Takeaways For Crafting A Perfect Pitch

▸ Pour it Out.
This is where you lay out everything you have to work with for your pitch. Take 5-15 minutes to do a complete brain dump, jotting down anything and everything that comes to mind. This is not the time to be modest, so drop the filters and let the ideas flow.
EXAMPLE: If you’re pitching a product, lay out all its benefits and unique attributes. If you’re pitching yourself, do the same. Imagine that you are a product or service. What are your positives? What problems can you solve? What makes you different than anything else on the market?

▸ Break It Down.
Roste’s advice is to start with these three simple questions: Who do you help (in an ideal world), What problem are you solving, and What is your solution? From there, you can craft your basic statement using the formula she offers below.
EXAMPLE: I help _________________ (target population) with/gain/develop _________________ (problem) by delivering _________________ (your solution).

▸ Kick It Up.
In addition to the target audience and what you deliver, Crawford recommends crafting an attention-grabbing opening statement. In the current age of 140-character tweets and 9-second video clips, captivating your audience with your first line is a must.
EXAMPLE: Consider the difference between these two (fictional) starters, both for female-empowered dating site Bumble. (A) I work for a dating app company, or (B) I combat skeeviness and misogyny in the digital dating world. One is factual, but the other uses colorful words to paint an immediate, palpable picture that hooks a listener.

▸ Connect It Back.
The team at MindTools cautions that a pitch should not be a one-way conversation. Their advice? Once you’ve communicated your USP, engage your audience by asking a question that taps into their relationship with the topic at hand.
EXAMPLE: If your business focuses on onboarding, you might ask “So, how does your organization handle the training of new people?” That gets your listener thinking about their own pain points, and how your approach might benefit them.

▸ Test It Out.
Jeff Manning recommends enlisting colleagues, family and friends to listen and give feedback on what they think and remember . . . Crawford also chimes in on this step, stressing the importance of sounding authentic, engaged, and confident. The sweet spot is to be polished but conversational, with personality.
EXAMPLE: Create a short checklist for your test audience. Include questions like what am I selling, what do I actually do, and what makes me or my product unique? Also include a 1-10 scale checklist for believability, smoothness of delivery, personality and creativity. Practice makes perfect, so keep refining your pitch using feedback from multiple tests.

BONUS TIP: Give It Away.

The Mindtools team stresses the importance of having some kind of small take-away item to leave with people you’ve pitched. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate, just a tangible reminder of your conversation.
EXAMPLE: A high-quality business card is always appropriate. If you have a business or product idea, a small brochure (also of high quality) is another option.
And one last thing . . .

Whatever you do, make it real. Consider this LinkedIn reflection from Philadelphia workforce development executive Uva Coles:

“Truth is, I don’t remember really good elevator pitches. I do remember really good, genuine people who told me their authentic story and leaned in to learn mine.”

Everyone has a story – the challenge is how to tell yours.

Need some more ideas about what makes a person and/or brand stand out? Help #BringOutYourStout with some great examples from these leaders and #Stout success stories.