The Elevator Pitch is critical for Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders

elevator-pitching

The Elevator Pitch is critically important for Entrepreneurs and Startup founders because you only get 'one chance' to convince and impress a potential investor or client.

Could you sell your unique Startup idea in 60 seconds? Entrepreneurs should always have their elevator pitch ready – the quick summary of their unique business proposition to trigger the interest of someone they've just met.

So, what is an Elevator Pitch?

Back in the early days of Hollywood, screenwriters would hang around studios looking for executive producers. When they noticed an executive producer going into an elevator, they would leap in to attempt to pitch their movie idea before reaching the top floor. Typically, it took around 45 seconds for the producers to know if they wanted to invest.  The same amount of time it took to get to the top floor.

These days, entrepreneurs should always have their elevator pitch ready. You're not ready to launch your business until you can explain in 60 seconds or less how it helps someone. 


If you don't think your getting it right, here is our list of the top things you can do to perfect your Elevator Pitch:

  • Keep it simple – If you can’t explain who you are and what you’re selling in simple terms, chances are the person you’re pitching to won’t understand it either. 
  • Improve and practice your Storytelling – Invoke passion, excitement and most importantly ensure you understand your story inside out before you do your first pitch.  Expect to keep improving your storytelling each time you pitch.  
  • Update your pitch to the person you are pitching too - It is all about them!  Before you pitch make sure you understand who you are pitching too – what are they all about, what are their trigger points.  Knowing what makes them tick is just as important as your own product / technology.  Each time you pitch to someone new, do the same exercise.
  • Show passion – A person buys into you as much as they do what your selling. What is important is to figure out what is the passion inside of you that will drive you to become the very best you can be. What is the passion that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning ready to take on the world? Show that you believe in yourself, your abilities and your incredible idea.
  • Project confidence in your pitch – To look and feel confident, your body language must show it. Many factors go into crafting an elevator pitch. There’s the tempo of your speech, the tone of your voice, the movements of your hands and body, understanding your pitch... the list is endless. We recommend you feel confident in what your pitching before you do your first pitch.
  • The numbers – Whilst in 45 seconds you likely won't have time to sell the numbers, if you have peaked someones interest it's critical you can answer straight up how the numbers stack up.  An investor will want to understand how they get $2 back if they put $1 in. If you have the opportunity to do a more detailed pitch these numbers are critical and have been stress tested well before you make your pitch.
  • Be positiveWhile you don't have control over what other people around you feel, always remember that the impact of your pitch will largely depend on how you feel. No matter what happens, always stay positive.  Positive attitude combined with a well-prepared mind are the best tools for positive outcome.

The Elevator Pitch is just a start

The Elevator Pitch is just a start, an opportunity to make a good impression. You can certainly sell an interesting story, but the reality is that 'the initial pitch' is one of many conversations that you will need to have with a potential investor. Whilst we have only touched the surface, be ready to deep dive and have the rest of your story ready for the investor. Are you ready?

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About Author

Shelley Peters
Shelley Peters

Shelley Peters is a Partner, Advisory & Governance at Azure Group. Shelley has more than 12 years experience working with a large array of businesses across our Technology, Private Client and International businesses.

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