How to Master the Art of the Elevator Pitch
As an entrepreneur, you probably have heard of the phrase “elevator pitch.” This is, after all, the mini speech that you give to potential investors that is supposed to be so short, so compact and so to the point that you can start it and complete it within the time span of an elevator ride. Of course, as you can tell, there’s a lot of variables here. You do know that an elevator ride going down from the top floor of a 10-storey building is going to be much shorter than an elevator ride at a building that has 100 floors. It is exactly 90% shorter.
My point here is that there is really no one-size-fits-all time requirement for an elevator pitch. Instead of looking at the actual time that you have to work with, focus more on how much value you can pack into the description of your business concept or idea. This is the key because if you focus on making sure that the theme is compact, easy to understand, easy to process and easy to act on, then you don’t have to worry about the time. You don’t have to worry about any other constraints. You can quickly describe the opportunity your business brings to the table regardless of who you’re interacting with. Regardless of how much time you think you have to work with, you can make a clear case.
Here’s a little warning. You have to understand that just because somebody has given you more time to make your elevator speech, this does not give you the right or the license to increase what you’re going to say. In fact, I would say that this should be your cue to make things shorter and more compact and more powerful. The reason why I say this is because if you give yourself the permission to talk more about your concept, chances are quite good that you are going to ramble. Chances are, you’re going to pick some sort of unimportant detail that is going to open up a rabbit hole of inconsequential, irrelevant and essentially worthless discussion.
Focus on what’s important. Focus on what’s new. Focus on what’s disruptive or revolutionary about the business concept that you bring to the table. Everything else, if you think about it hard enough, is really inconsequential. All the other stuff, you can get later on. All the other stuff, you can pack into a longer business plan. But this is the elevator speech we’re talking about. These people do not have time. These people have very short attention spans. They have a lot of things to do. They have better uses of their time. They have empires to maintain or build.
Understand what’s at stake. This is not just you getting a shot at convincing the right person so they can give you money for your business. No. This is about the soundness of your business. It has nothing to do with the time you have available to you. It has nothing to do with the context and it has everything to do with how much real value does your concept bring to the table. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Stay focused on that like a laser and you will succeed.