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Six tips on perfecting your elevator pitch

I’ve run nearly ten workshops on networking over the last six months and in many of those workshops, the elevator pitch has featured. This is the short, normally capped at 60 seconds, “pitch” (or minute of sheer fear) that most structured networking groups or events make you trot out. 

I have to admit that when I spent six months attending one of these groups, I never quite conquered my adrenaline and nerves when delivering this short presentation and I confidently deliver 45-minute keynote speeches. 

Here are my tips on delivering a powerful elevator pitch:

1. Prepare

You may have to be up at the crack of dawn to deliver your elevator pitch, but deciding on what you’re going to say in the car on the way to the networking meeting is too late. Before you attend the meeting, find/work out:

  • Who is going to be there
  • Who are they connected to?
  • What help you need to help make your marketing/business development plan happen?

The answers to these questions will all influence what you add in or take out from your elevator pitch.

2. Rehearse

There is nothing worse than seeing someone looking down and reading their elevator pitch. Rehearse your elevator pitch so that you can deliver it whilst still maintaining eye contact at least 80 per cent of the time with the people in the room.

3. Construct your elevator pitch

Every decent elevator pitch has a defined structure which I outline in this post on the ideal elevator pitch.

4. Listen

Remember to listen to other people’s elevator pitches rather than stressing about your turn. People are far more likely to listen to your pitch if you do the courtesy of listening to their pitch.

5. Think about visible signs that your service is needed

You need to very quickly educate your audience on how to spot an ideal referral for you. What visible signs, and from whom, will they notice if they have bumped into an ideal client for you” These need to be in your elevator pitch and mentioned twice if possible.

What would your 6th tip be

Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, helps professionals achieve business and career success using social media and networking. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She is the author of the current best-selling book on networking The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking which has 68 five-star reviews on Amazon.


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