This is the next article of the series on how to position yourself in the market and differentiate your business from the competition.
Another important aspect of positioning and differentiation is the “Elevator Speech” or in other words the “Elevator Pitch”.
The word “pitch” has its origin in a venture capital world where entrepreneurs are pitching to investors (making a presentation) hoping they’ll support their project; at least financially. The purpose of the pitch is to make a very short, but at the same time very descriptive and appealing, presentation to convince the investor(s) to invest capital in your project. If the pitch is interesting the investor may decide to move to the next step of the potential investment process or reject your offer.
The phrase “Elevator speech” suggests that the presentation of your business must be finished in a very short period of time. It’s referring to a situation where you are in an elevator with another person, where you have just a few seconds to present your thoughts before the ride is over. Your audience will not wait for you to finish when the lift has reached his floor; so you need to be quick and get straight to the point.
It’s necessary for anyone in business
You can even say it’s one of the most important skills the business person should possess. Particularly if you are a business owner or a sales person.
The knowledge about your business, company, products and services is essential but… enthusiastically presenting this in an easy to understand form, to the people from outside your company, is the skill you should master.
The good news is it’s simple and learnable. In just a moment I will show you how you can do it and what you should include to ensure your Elevator Speech has the maximum effect.
Contrary to the word “speech”, your effective “Elevator Speech” is a conversation. You can’t just recite what you’d like to say. You need to start a short conversation and allow your audience to ask a few questions or to add some comments.
Your goal is to help the other person to understand what your company does, what benefits you offer, how you help your clients, why it’s so special and what the unique aspects of your products and services are.
The Formula of creating
an effective “Elevator speech”
Creating your Elevator Speech is very simple. To do this you will need your completed assignment from the previous article “How to differentiate your business from the competition”.
If you haven’t done all the steps from the previous article stop reading this article now and go back and do it. It’s necessary to make this formula work for you. Click the link below to go to the previous article:
OK, I hope you’ve done all the steps from the previous article so let’s start with the process of creating your effective “Elevator Speech”:
Use the description you’ve created on what differentiates your business from the competition (It was a step 3 in “How to differentiate your business from the competition”) and write a few sentences to communicate:
- What your company does (one sentence).
- How it helps your Clients (in the areas of benefits, results, values, improvements, security etc.)?
- What differentiates your business from the competition (the 2 most important elements)?
Read the script aloud and do corrections to make it flow and easy to read. Make it sound the way you talk to someone. Don’t try to recite or memorise the text. Rather focus on including the most important points.
Edit the copy and make it possible to read it within 90 sec. or up to 1 minute maximum by including only the most important elements.
If you can, record yourself reading with enthusiasm and energy. Listen to the whole speech and make any necessary corrections. Repeat this recording-listening-correcting exercise until the whole piece sounds totally natural.
You can use your desktop computer or laptop to make a recording. There are also a lot of useful free applications to download for smartphones and tablets.
When listening to the recording try not to focus on whether you like the sound of your voice or not as if this is your first recording you will most likely not J. It’s natural. Rather try to focus on the flow, energy and impact of the script you read.
When you start to feel more confident try to find places where you could insert some pauses, engage the audience into conversation or allow him to ask questions. It’s totally natural that during the live conversation your audience may start to change the subject and everything won’t go as you’ve planned. Don’t worry, your goal is to present the most important points.
Before you go live you can also present your Elevator Speech to a colleague or friend and ask for feedback on your delivery as well as content, and whether everything is clear. You can repeat this process with a few different people to get more confident.
Now you are ready to engage in an effective conversation about what you and your company do in any situation. And the truth is you will never be ready enough so leave your comfort zone and go live. You don’t have to be perfect.
Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips & tricks and things to remember:
- Don’t use jargon, technical words or phrases if your audience is not from your industry.
- Don’t touch technical aspects or go into great depth.
- Be calm. Breath! Don’t allow your speech to sound like you are in a rush to get it over with or where your audience has no chance to engage in conversation.
- Remember about passion, enthusiasm, high energy and being nice.
- Try to engage your audience in conversation.
- Be yourself. It’s important that the way you speak and the language you use sound authentic and natural. Don’t pretend to be someone else. The more natural you are the more believable your Elevator Speech will be. But not only that – you will also be better perceived and most likely remembered.
- At the end of conversation, if possible and appropriate, you can ask for a business card, referral or a meeting.
- Your business is constantly evolving and so should your Elevator Speech.
Having this knowledge now you can create your effective Elevator Speech and use it in any situation. The most important thing is to use the knowledge you’ve gained in practice. Otherwise the time you’ve spent reading this article is wasted. Remember the knowledge not used in practice is worthless.
So use this formula in practice, create your absolutely outstanding Elevator Speech and delight others by talking about your business and yourself in a matter of seconds.