An elevator pitch is your chance to make a great first impression and generate interest in your company. It should be a short sales pitch that can be delivered in 60 seconds or less (ie. the time taken to ride an elevator). Capturing someone's attention in such a short span of time is quite a challenge, so here are some tips from Direct Line for Business to help you nail your pitch.

Visit the Direct Line for Business stand at StartUp 2018, the biggest start-up show of the New Year in London on 13 January, and you'll be able to record your own elevator pitch on video for free and keep it! Book a ticket here.

1. Information to include in your elevator pitch

The key to crafting a good pitch is to keep it short and to the point. All the relevant information should be condensed into a concise 30-60 second speech.

It should explain the genuine need for the product in the market, its unique selling point, what differentiates the product from its competitors and the business model; all of this in under 60 seconds.

Things to include are: Your name, company, product, target consumer, unique selling point, vision and call to action

2. Capture attention

An elevator pitch is key to sparking interest in your company, raising money from investors, and selling your product. So, the priority for the pitch should be to capture the listener's attention and make them want to know more.

3. Avoid jargon

The purpose of an elevator pitch is to get your message across clearly. Using complicated business jargon and buzzwords that don't really add any value can undermine your message.

4. Focus on your listener

Draw listeners in by addressing their needs. If it sounds like a marketing spiel, people tend to switch off.

Flip the process of writing a pitch. It should not be a list of features of the product, but it should focus on telling listeners how it can help solve their problems.

5. Provide proof of results:

Incorporate information about your company's big achievements or major associations in your pitch.

Risk perception is a big barrier for investors. Put them at ease by telling that you have a product or service with proven results.

6. Add emotion

It is important to show enthusiasm and help people see why you do what you do.

7. Clear call to action

There should be a call to action that provides clear next steps on how people can get in touch with you. Include your social media handles and website url.

8. Keep it natural

Not just the content of the pitch, but the overall presentation and personality of the presenter impact how people respond to pitches.

This is a personal interaction, and it should feel natural. The pitch should be conversational and leave scope for people to raise questions and share their opinions.

A script for your pitch:

As noted above, the following key points should be included in your elevator pitch:

  • Name: Who are you?
  • Company: Name of your start-up and history of your company/founders
  • Product: What do you do? The solution; your product or service
  • Target consumer: Who are the people that benefit from your solution/product/service, what is their need?
  • Unique selling point: What makes you stand out from the competition?
  • Vision: Results/achievements to date and vision for the future
  • Call to action

Translated into a script:

My name is: xxxx. My company is xxxx and we set up in xxx.

I advise/consult/something else (product) for (target customer), who has (customer need).

(Product name) is (unique selling point) and unlike the (competition), the product is (unique differentiator).

We have (key results/achievements) and (vision)

Find out more by (CTA, social handle, url etc)

Visit the Direct Line for Business stand at StartUp 2018, the biggest start-up show of the New Year in London on 13 January, and you'll be able to record your own elevator pitch on video for free and keep it! Book a ticket here.

Have your say

Paul Durrant
Paul Durrant

You cover all the bases with this type of format but I hear this style of elevator pitch every week. You are more likely to stand out with a WOW, HOW, NOW pitch - as this grabs the attention from the first. The 'WOW' is saying something intriguing, humorous or unusual (to grab the attention) describe 'HOW' you help your customers and then give a real-life recent example i.e. 'NOW'. Failing that, try a rhyming pitch - but learn it off by heart and don't read it (speak to Emma Jones about this).

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