Elevator pitch

Six essential tests for your elevator pitch

March 7, 2016

A weak elevator pitch is a wasted opportunity

Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase at Berlin’s SuperReturn, the annual Private Equity Conference. Funds get 90 seconds to pitch to a room full of investors, who collectively have over $100bn to invest. It’s a high profile elevator pitch.

What struck me was that many fund managers did not grasp this opportunity properly. They hadn’t prepared sufficiently, as though they preferred to be seen as clever amateurs rather than true professionals. But when you are pitching for investment, you can’t afford to look anything but professional.

For example, some pitches over-ran the 90 seconds. One fund manager got bogged down in detail and another bombarded us with facts. Not surprisingly, they found it harder to grab attention.

What makes a great elevator pitch?

A good elevator pitch is an essential tool for every business. When crafted well you can tell your story quickly and engage your audience. A good pitch is flexible. You can scale and adapt it for any situation, from dinner parties to formal presentations and for the CEO or the receptionist.

Over the years we have developed a set of tools and tests so that our clients’ elevator pitches stand out and get acted upon.

Check your elevator pitch against these six essential tests:

1. Does it grab attention immediately? You have about 15 seconds to make a good first impression.

2. Is it memorable? If not, how will it stand out from the thousands of other messages your target is bombarded with?

3. Is it interactive? Does it contain direct or rhetorical questions that will encourage quality conversations?

4. Is it scalable? Depending on the situation, you may want to use one line, one paragraph or the full version. Having a scalable elevator pitch that builds in detail over time will enable you to use it flexibly.

5. Is it evocative? Emotions are a powerful persuasive tool. No matter how dry your subject – emotions will help you make an impact.

6. Does it leave your audience wanting to know more? This is the ultimate test.

If your elevator pitch does not pass all six tests smoothly, perhaps you need one of our famous Messaging Cracker Sessions.

To discuss your current situation and how we can help you, call Louise on 020 7193 0130 or email her via louise@nullbenjaminball.com.

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