A guide to… the “Elevator Pitch”

A guide to… the “Elevator Pitch” 1 2 3

Imagine you’re in a lift, the doors open, and in walks Lord Alan Sugar. You’ve got 30 seconds to pique his curiosity, summarise your business and ensure the conversation continues once the lift has stopped. How do you do it? We investigates the “elevator pitch”.

Of course, this particular situation is probably never going to occur. But if you switch “lift” with “networking event”, and “Lord Alan Sugar” with “new business opportunity”, it suddenly becomes a far more realistic scenario. It’s crucial to have a tight, electrifying pitch at your fingertips so you’re ready to seize an opportunity whenever, and wherever, it arises. After all, if you don’t make a good first impression, you might not get a second chance. The Business Moment invites three local experts to share their tips on how best to craft and utilise your elevator pitch.

10 Steps to the Perfect Pitch

As communication and marketing experts, the team at Athene communications have a great deal of experience in helping organisations and individuals to develop an elevator pitch. Account director at Athene, Julia Ogden, shares her top tips to craft the perfect pitch.

1. Define what makes you different – Spend some time figuring out what your unique selling point (USP) is. What makes you different from the competition? This should be at the heart of your elevator pitch to describe what you do and make it clear how you add value.

2. Keep it simple – Skip the jargon, avoid technical terms and don’t use lengthy explanations or descriptions. You have 30 seconds to inspire and captivate your audience so keep things to the point. If people want further details they’ll ask.

3. Sell the benefits – The old sales adage “sell the benefits not the features” is as true as ever. A team brainstorm is a great way of thinking this through for your product or service. Avoid telling people the minutiae design features of your widget – instead skip straight to how the features solve the problems faced by your audience.

4. Use a specific example – Have a couple of specific case studies up your sleeve to show how your service or product has benefited customers. Real examples, illustrations, and (short, relevant) anecdotes draw your audience in and are memorable.

5. Practice out-loud – Once you have your elevator pitch down on paper, start practicing it out- loud in front of a mirror. This will help you deliver it confidently when it comes to the real thing.

6. Test and refine – Excruciating as it might be, it’s vital to test your elevator pitch out on family, friends and colleagues. This will help you refine it further, improving parts of it based on the feedback you get.

7. Convey your passion and energy, but not too much – You want your energy and enthusiasm to come across so use strong eye contact and confident body language when you deliver your elevator pitch. But don’t let your enthusiasm translate into a long monologue about you and your company which is guaranteed to switch people off.

8. Tailor to your audience – You need a few versions of your elevator pitch handy so that you can tailor your key messages to your target audience. Your pitch needs to respond to the needs and wants of your particular audience to make it relevant and therefore effective.

9. Know what you’re trying to achieve – When delivering your elevator pitch start out with an idea of what you’d like to achieve. Is it a sale, or a second meeting, or a sign-up to your newsletter? Finish with a call to action for your audience.

10. Move with the times – Once you’ve got your elevator pitch sorted, you may also want to consider developing a Tube-pitch and a Twit-pitch. Short You Tube videos hosted on your website are a great way to tell your story in an engaging way. Summarising your offer into a 140 character pitch
for Twitter might be a challenge but the increasing power of social media is making pithy ways of getting your message across more important than ever.

To find out more about how Athene Communications can help you with marketing, PR, social media and video visit


A guide to… the “Elevator Pitch” 1 2 3

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