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  Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or a job seeker, you probably need an elevator pitch that jumps out of your mind and rolls off your tongue once in a while. An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you can use to spark interest in what you’re offering. The goal is to convey a clear and engaging message about what you do in the span of a short elevator ride, typically around 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
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The hard part of coming up with a pitch that really works is finding the right lines to fit into such a short length of time, which also succeeds in capturing the hearer’s attention. If you have one that you’d like to improve on, here are six steps to doing just that:

Know Your Audience

Before drafting or tweaking your pitch, work on understanding who you’d be speaking to. Tailor your message according to the interests and needs of your target audience. If you’re pitching a product to an investor, focus on the market potential and ROI. If it’s a job interview, emphasize how your skills match the company’s needs. A listener will be interested in hearing more from you if you’re ‘speaking a language’ they’re familiar with.

Have a Clear Objective

Determine what you want to achieve with your pitch. Is it to secure an investment, gain a client, or perhaps get a job interview? Perhaps your original piece falls short on this front. Try to reengineer it so that it drives your conversation with the other party in your preferred direction. With a clear objective, you can craft a message that directly addresses the desired outcome, making your pitch more impactful.

Start Strong

Your opening sentence should grab the listener’s attention. Start with a surprising fact, a brief story, or a bold statement that sets the tone and piques interest. For instance, instead of saying, “I’ve developed a new app,” try “I’ve created an app that has already helped 10,000 users save 2 hours every week!” When you have this part of your pitch polished right, it’ll be easier to retain your conversation partner’s interest in what you have to say.
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Focus on Benefits, Not Features

While it might be tempting to delve into the intricacies of your offering, it’s more effective to highlight the benefits. How does your product or service solve a problem or fill a need? Instead of saying, “Our software has a 256-bit encryption,” say, “Our software ensures that your data is protected with top-notch security, giving you peace of mind.” Remember, your audience is likely to be more concerned about what your product can do for them, and less about what shiny components it has.

End with a Call to Action

Conclude your pitch by guiding your listener to the next step. If you’re seeking investment, ask if they’d be interested in seeing a demo or learning more. If you’re job hunting, inquire about the possibility of a follow-up interview. When you do this, you’re guiding the conversation forward and showing initiative. A good call to action will be clear, convey urgency, and motivate your listener to at least consider acting as you’ve requested.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any skill, delivering a captivating elevator pitch takes practice. Recite your pitch to friends, family, or mentors, and seek their feedback. Then make adjustments in line with their best suggestions. Note that it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. Work on maintaining good posture, making eye contact, and displaying a visible sense of enthusiasm.
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A great elevator pitch is a blend of clarity, conciseness, and passion. It’s your chance to make a lasting impression in a brief window of time. If you define your objectives and spruce up your composition to address concerns familiar to your listener, you’ll increase your chances of achieving your desired outcome. Featured Image Source: Cake Resume
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This article was first published on 21st September 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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