What is an Elevator Pitch?

The 60 second or ‘Elevator Pitch’ is a common way to gain support or get people interested in your idea. The ‘Elevator Pitch’ is about explaining your idea to someone important when you are in an elevator.  Imagine that you only have this person’s attention for the time it takes to get from the top to the bottom floor of a 7 storey building.

What makes a good elevator pitch?

  1. It must be clear and in simple to understand language. You must connect with you audience immediately and grab their attention. Use language that everyone understands. Use words that are powerful and create an image in the mind of your audience. Have a hook that snags their interest and makes them want to know more.
  2. It must be short and to the point.
  3. It must be compelling. Outline the problem clearly.  If you don’t explain the problem clearly and capture the audience attention, you solution comes off as less interesting.  Be clear about what you want to get out of this pitch? You may have different pitches depending on different objectives. For instance do you want to: enlist support for an idea, or earn a referral.
  4. It must be believable.  Make it credible by doing your research and supporting your solution with facts  Why is your idea better, cheaper, faster than others?
  5. It must be conversational.  Don’t talk at the audience but invite them to ask questions and be involved with the conversation.  Don’t forget to ask them for what you want or need.  

Some common mistakes with 60-second pitches:

  • Poor explanation of the problem. One of the most common mistakes is focusing on the solution rather than the problem. If you don’t know or can’t fully explain what the problem is, your solution will come off as less compelling.
  • Not understanding your competition. Not clearly stating what differentiates your company or service from other companies solving the same problem.
  • An underdeveloped support plan. Supporters want to know how you plan to develop the product and/or service.  What resources and/or support do you need?

EXAMPLE - Case Study

The Problem: The recreational and professional gardening markets lose or break a lot of irrigation drippers.

Some Statistics:

  • 4.7 million Australia households grow at least some of their own food.
  • Worldwide market is much larger.
  • The average number of drippers per household is 20.
  • People looking for cost effective solutions.

Solution: Glow in the dark drip head.

Special Advantage: Can be seen in the dark or against dark soil.  No competitor is currently producing a coloured drip head.

The Ask: Some introductions to talk to gardeners about the solution and to talk to either manufacturers or retailers about how this should be packaged for sale.

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