The “60-second Pitch” or the “Elevator pitch” is a 21st century business and marketing tool that is used to spark interest in the target audience within a short space of time, usually in 60 seconds or less, typical of an elevator ride. Having a potentially successful idea is one thing; being able to sell yourself and your idea in the most unlikely places and circumstances is another. Many people struggle with organizing their thoughts when they are put on the spot, may become nervous and confused in that situation and end up messing up that unexpected “once in a lifetime” opportunity.
This article will teach you the 6-step rule on creating an elevator speech that will make your pitch perfect.
Rule 1: Identify yourself.
Many people are at a loss for words when they meet new people or have to network. You can see their minds racing with the questions, “What do I say? Where do I start? What if I make a fool of myself?” Here’s a tip. Identify yourself. That’s a great place to start. If it’s someone who you’ve been trying to get an appointment with for a while, try not to come across desperate.
Hello Mrs X. It’s nice to finally meet you, I’ve been dying to get to see you, I have called your office several times with no success. Actually, I have a proposal for a business idea, I would love you to invest, blah blah…
Rather than the person warming up to you, they can immediately close off because they feel ambushed. So, Keep it short and simple. Like this:
Hello, my name is Bimbo Oloyede. It’s so nice to meet you.
Rule 2: Offer Background information
Stating your name isn’t enough. Don’t expect your listener to fill in the blanks. So, if you say, “Hi, my name is Bimbo Oloyede,” and you stop there, you’re expecting your listener to do the work for you, right? Don’t be surprised if you may get a response like,
Ok! Or okay? Maybe even So what?
Offer background information about yourself. For example
Hello, my name is Bimbo Oloyede. I’m the lead consultant at Strictly Speaking, a media and communication training firm.
Adding a little bit of information can pique your listener’s interest. You may get their attention with the tone of your voice, but you have to give them a reason to actually listen to you.
Rule 3: Provide Context
If your listener can identify your interest from your introduction and background, you may skip this part and move on to making a connection straight away. However, you may need to provide some context so that you don’t come across as a random rambler or a nuisance.
State who you are, what you do and give an inkling as to what you have to offer without actually offering it, yet.
I train professionals in presentation, communication and media skill and I operate offices in Lagos and Abuja.
Rule 4: Make the Connection
You cannot get your listener to commit to you if they cannot connect with you. Make a connection with what you do and have to offer with the core of what your listener does. It shows that you have clear direction as to what you want from the listener and it shows the listener that you are committed, current and confident of what you can deliver.
I’ve followed your company’s progress over the years, and I’m inspired by its recent developments in establishing a learning academy for graduates and new entrants.
Rule 5: Ask plainly
Many people find it difficult to articulate what it is they want from their listeners. You come across as unserious and having no clear purpose. Be conscious that the elevator is coming to a stop so don’t continue rambling. You don’t have the luxury of time. Be clear and concise when you make your request.
I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my company can offer its services to your learning academy. Is there someone I can reach to make an appointment at the earliest convenience?
When you make such a request, be ready to exchange contact details. Always have your business card to hand.
Rule 6: Close out
Always close out warmly, regardless of how you have been received. It leaves a lasting impression more than you realise. If the listener exchanges contact details with you, you may end with
Thank you for your time. I’ll follow up with an email or get in touch soon. It was nice to meet you again.
And even if it’s not positive, you still thank them for their time.
So, let’s put this 60-second pitch together:
Hello, my name is Bimbo Oloyede. I’m the lead consultant at Strictly Speaking, a media and communication training firm that operates in Lagos and Abuja. I train professionals in presentation, communication and media skills. I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my company can offer its services to your learning academy. Is there someone I can reach to make an appointment at the earliest convenience? (Wait for response) Thank you for your time. I’ll follow up with an email or get in touch soon. It was nice to meet you once again.
Now it’s your turn.