How to Make an Impact in 30 Seconds
Those of us who regularly attend networking meetings often get the opportunity to present ourselves and our businesses in either 30 or 60 second “elevator pitches.” Having both observed and participated in these exercises for years, I’ve accumulated the following practices that will help anyone perfect their pitch.
Loud and Proud
Make sure you say your name and that of your company slowly, clearly, and loud enough for everyone to hear. It sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks rush through their name. It’s familiar to you, and maybe even most of the others in the room, but it’s those that don’t know it that need to hear it. It’s even a good idea to repeat your name and business at the end of your pitch if you have the time.
If you’re one who owns or represents multiple businesses, resist the urge to describe them all. It will only confuse your audience. Pick one and focus on it for the short time you’re given to speak.
Make sure to not only explain what your business does, but why someone should choose to use you over a competitor – your value proposition, in other words. (If you need help figuring out your value proposition or how to succinctly express it, try reading this post.) Differentiating your business during your pitch is more important than explaining the nuances of your offering.
I’m impressed by those who are always prepared based on years of experience giving pitches. The rest of us need to take time to prepare a pitch that informs and impresses in the allotted time. Don’t be one of those who wait fifteen minutes for their turn and then wing it because they’re unprepared – if for no other reason than it is inconsiderate to your audience.
Similarly, take the time to practice your pitch. Practicing not only helps you to remember it, it will give you a chance to hone your intonation and perfect your timing.
Finally, have fun with it. Let your personality shine through. Set your audience at ease by being at ease yourself (practicing will help with this too.) Establish eye contact and smile. Remember, people like to do business with people they like.
What have I missed? How do you make your elevator pitches work for you?