We have all heard of the need to have an elevator pitch handy, but how many elevators are you riding nowadays? The concept is still spot on, but the traditional 30 seconds is long gone.
Microsoft’s study concluded that your audience has about an eight second attention span. In today’s virtual world, even 8 seconds might be a stretch.
Whether you are pitching yourself or pitching an idea, the goal of an elevator pitch is to engage your listener, leaving them wanting more. To hit the mark, here are three considerations:
- Identify the one key thing. The point of an elevator pitch is that it’s concise enough that it can be communicated quickly. If you dive into all the details, you’ll leave the listener confused – and likely tuned out. Instead, focus on the one key thing you want them to remember. Cut out the rest. If you can get your one key thing on a t-shirt, you’re on the right track.
- Answer the “so what?” Like any communication, good elevator pitches are about the listener. If you have identified the one key thing, then answer why that one key thing is important or relevant to your listener. If you can do that, your listener will be all ears!
- Create 3 go-to versions. Different situations require different pitch lengths. Having versions that are 8 seconds, 30 seconds and 1-minute means you will be ready to adapt to whatever the situation calls for. Start with 1-minute. Then, whittle it down. There is nothing easy about doing this but, skipping it may jeopardize your next opportunity.
An elevator pitch is an opportunity to be persuasive and spark interest in a short amount of time. When you are able to clearly define the one key thing and why that is important to your listener, you will be well on your way to creating an effective pitch. Now, try to share that in 8 seconds and let us know how it goes!