Elevator pitch

Six essential tests for your elevator pitch

March 7, 2016

A great elevator pitch is an essential part of your toolkit

Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase at Berlin’s SuperReturn, the annual Private Equity Conference. Funds get just 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 . They just hadn’t prepared properly, 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 hard to grab attention.


What makes a great elevator pitch?

A good pitch is essential for every business. When crafted well you can tell your story quickly and grab 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:

Elevator Pitch Test | #1. Does it grab attention immediately?

You have about 15 seconds to make a good first impression.


Elevator Pitch Test | #2. Is it memorable?

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


Elevator Pitch Test | #3. Is it interactive?

Does it contain direct or rhetorical questions that will encourage quality conversations?


Elevator Pitch Test | #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.


Elevator Pitch Test | #5. Is it evocative?

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


Elevator Pitch Test #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, contact us about how we can help you improve this vital element of your marketing toolkit. Call Louise on 020 7018 0922 or email her via louise@nullbenjaminball.com.

You may also be interested in testing your Private Equity Pitch Book against these six tests for investor-readiness.

Video: How Private Equity Funds can pitch, present and persuade more effectively

Paul Farrow is a Partner at Benjamin Ball Associates. In this video from SuperReturn US East, Paul discusses the common mistakes made by Private Equity funds when communicating with potential investors. He reveals the unexpected personality trait that investors look for in fund managers, and why LPs don’t want to ‘be taken through your pitch presentation’. He shares essential advice that will improve your fund’s messaging, help you stand out and impress prospective investors. Click the play button below to watch:

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Review our top coaching, advice and training programmes. All these are in-house and tailored training programmes. (Not ‘open’ training courses.)

1. Improve Your Investor Pitch

2. Public Speaking Coaching

3. Presentation Coaching

4. Media Training

All can be run as 1:1 or small group training in-house, or via Skype.
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What Our Clients Say

“The new presentation properly represents the institutional quality of our fund. It has been a step change of us.”

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital

“This training has contributed directly to new business – including a new FTSE100 client.”

Michelle Elstein Head of Business Development, Olswang LLP

“BBA transformed our pitch into a compelling investment narrative. They undoubtedly helped us secure Sky TV as an investor.”

Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films