How to Hone Your Elevator Pitch
Allow me to set the scene, you’re at a conference and it’s come to that allocated time slot where you’re expected to network with a room full of potential investors. You’ve done this plenty of times before but feel that your elevator pitch needs a bit of an overhaul. Rather than just re-wording your original pitch and heading into the crowd to say the same thing to everyone you meet, we’ve put together four tips to help you grab everyone’s attention and make a lasting impact.
Personality as well as Content
In the world of public speaking, we often find ourselves debating the merits of content versus personality. Very few speakers get the balance right, they either go content heavy and run the risk of being ‘dry’ on stage or they command the stage but the content they deliver is forgotten by the following day. In a pitch scenario, you are positioning both your fund marketing strategy and your personality. The style and tone of delivery will influence your pitch credibility. Understanding your company’s tone and values and incorporating them into the delivery of the pitch will underpin and strengthen the actual pitch. Ensuring the two areas combine effectively will put you on the right track for success.
A pitch is designed to show working methodologies, style, tone and focus. As an elevator pitch is always time sensitive, you always need to get straight to the point, explain the product, strategy, or company and ensure your audience understand your path and direction. But, demonstrating a thirst for understanding and a flexibility to work alongside a client or other parties, whilst illustrating how they are incorporated into a partnership, will help lay an invitation for a deeper relationship with investors and stand you in good stead.
"If something doesn’t feel right, slightly adjust your style, change your approach"
Judge your Audience
You might have undertaken significant research on or been fully briefed about the company, or even fully briefed on the individual you are speaking to but that initial handshake is critical for the success of the pitch. Judge your audience, make sure the pitch that you have prepared and the picture you had in your mind about who you were meeting matches the handshakes that have just taken place. If they do, then great, you are well set to deliver an amazing elevator pitch. If something doesn’t feel right, slightly adjust your style, change your approach, not to a critical level, but just enough to reflect the atmosphere.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Public speaking is a skill which, while everyone thinks they can deliver, is something that requires a lot of work. Coupling this skill with the time constraint of a pitch means impact and brevity are absolutely key. If the message can be conveyed in one word as opposed to five, then cut the preamble. Utilise experts around you to help hone both the content as well as the delivery. Then practice, use every opportunity to deliver an elevator pitch, to all different people, to those who understand your industry to those who have no knowledge. Adapt to your pitch accordingly and judge the results. This type of multifaceted practise will stand you in good stead for successful pitching.
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