AN ELEVATOR PITCH: A COLLEGE STUDENT’S WORST NIGHTMARE … OR IS IT?

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This Flickr photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is licensed under Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Research shows that employers want employees who can talk in front of people. The thing that every college student hates the most is what employers are looking for.

So, why not learn how to do an elevator pitch if it will help you in your future?

This blog discusses the elements of a good elevator pitch, and it suggests tips for doing well during your presentation.

THE ELEMENTS OF AN ELEVATOR PITCH

Kurian Tharakan says that elevator pitches should include the name of the company, the product, the target consumers, the unique selling proposition and a call to action.

This is similar to what we learned in class. For instance, it’s important to come up with a name for your idea. Another element of an elevator pitch is that it should include an overview of what your business does. Additionally, it should include details about the main market and who you are selling your product to. Also, an elevator pitch should include a value proposition — what you are doing better than anyone else that’s going to make someone buy your product.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

The author says that it’s important to present your elevator pitch in layman’s terms.

“The purpose of an elevator pitch is to get your message across clearly. Using complicated business jargon and buzzwords that don’t really add any value to your message can undermine your message,” according to the article.  

This reminds me of the example in class of how you should develop an elevator pitch geared to your grandma or best friend.  The idea is that your grandma or your best friend would be able to understand your elevator pitch.

DON’T PROMISE WHAT YOU CANNOT DELIVER

Also, it’s important to tell the truth. If you exaggerate what your product can actually do, this is a bad thing because it shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

QUESTION PITCHES

The article suggests to start with a question when you do your elevator pitch.

Similarly, Daniel Pink suggests using more questions in your elevator pitch in the video “6 Elevator Pitches for the 21st Century.”

“Questions are active,” said Daniel Pink.  “Statements are somewhat passive. So, if I just make an assertion to you, you listen. When I ask a question, you inevitably have to respond. [Questions are] more likely to move people. Because what happens? They start thinking about it, and they begin to articulate their own reasons for agreeing with you.”

SOLVING PROBLEMS

The article says elevator pitches “should focus on telling listeners how it can help solve their problems.”

I think it is important to develop value propositions about your product so that you know how it will help your customers. What problem is your product solving for your customers? Also, why should customers buy it?

FACTS AND FIGURES

The more you can put in facts and figures in your elevator pitch, the better off you will be.

In elevator pitches, you should “put [investors] at ease by telling [them] that you have a product or service with proven results,” according to the article.

ENDORSEMENTS AND PARTNERSHIPS

Also, it’s important to have business partnerships in order to enhance your startup.

For example, the article mentions that the parking app called JustPark is endorsed by BMW, and this partnership makes the app seem more credible and trustworthy to customers.

BE PREPARED, CONFIDENT AND EXCITED

I think it is important to practice your elevator pitch so that you make a good first impression.

“An elevator pitch is a prime chance to make a good first impression and generate interest in the company,” according to the article.  

In class, we saw examples of how you can make a bad first impression.

For instance, Anthony Ameen, the CEO of Wings for Warriors, was an example of a terrible way to do an elevator pitch. He was holding his phone. He was really nervous.

So, it’s important to be confident and enthusiastic when you are giving your elevator pitch.

According to the article, “leadership expert Simon Sinek believes that it is important to show enthusiasm and help people see why you do what you do.”

DON’T BE LIKE BILLY MAYS

An elevator pitch should be conversational.

According to the article, an elevator pitch “is a personal interaction, and it should feel natural. It should not sound too rehearsed.”

Sometimes people can tell when it’s fake or too rehearsed. So, it’s important to find a middle balance and be natural.

Also, you should avoid using a salesperson tone during an elevator pitch. You don’t want it to sound like an infomercial.

CONCLUSION 

In sum, an elevator pitch should address what the need is, how your startup is fulfilling it and why you and your colleagues are the right people to do it.

It’s important to be natural and conversational during your elevator pitch.

 

 

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