||Be Concise: An elevator pitch is a clear, concise and
well-practiced description of your company. It must be delivered in the time it would take
to ride up an elevator in other words, no longer than 60 seconds. Thats time
for about 150-225 words.
||Solve a Problem: Avoid sounding like a solution in search of a
problem. Explain how your unique solution fills a must have need. If you
aren't solving a problem or filling a need, you're in for a tough sell.
||Tell Them What They Want to Hear: Describe your product or service and its benefits
succinctly. Depending on your audience, you may also have to:
- define and size the market
- explain how youre going to make money
- tell who is behind the company and
- frame the competitive landscape and your advantage in it.
||Speak in Plain English: Talk in tangibles, not abstractions, throughout
your pitch. Bring it down to the man on the street. Even if your product is complex,
youll lose your audience if you use MBA-speak or technobabble.
||Grab the Listener's Attention: You might try developing
a tagline to pique interest, something enticing that captures the imagination like "It's not TV. It's
HBO". Or, make an analogy between you and a well-known company. "We're the Yahoo for teens" is a good, short
way to say that you're trying to create a search engine/directory/web portal for
Questions: To ensure that youre targeting the right
person with the right message, ask a couple of questions.
||Tailor Your Pitch to
Your Audience: To investors, the pitch
focuses on your team and how you plan to make money. To customers, your focus should be on
the problem you can solve for them. Potential partners want to know what you're building,
why it's important, and why youre going to be a success.
||Show Your Passion: A good pitch makes your heart race. Show the
fire in the belly and your passion to succeed.
||Conclude With a Call to Action: Always end your pitch
with a call to action, but recognize that different audiences prompt different requests.
You might ask friends and acquaintances if they know anyone who would be interested,
anyone who's working on something similar, or anyone who's working in the investment
On the other hand, ask angels and VCs if they'd consider investing. In many cases,
youll ask if they'd be willing to set up a meeting or speak by phone. If you're
really in an elevator, offer to walk straight back to the office to talk more.
||Tell a Consistent
Story: Make sure that your
managers and other key individuals, such as investors and board members, can also give
your company's elevator pitch fluently. Nothing sounds worse than fumbling, inaccurate or
contradictory company descriptions.