Meet “who, what, and why” – your powerful trifecta in crafting your best elevator pitch yet.
An elevator pitch is a mighty tool with which you have to describe what you offer, what you’re selling, or what solution you bring to the table in a succinct manner. Ashley Chubin, COO of FlyHi, says “An elevator pitch is short. It’s essentially the length of an elevator ride because of the assumption that you never know when you’re going to run into someone who can help your new business succeed.”
So, you’ve got about 20-30 seconds to really show why you’re the woman for the job. Following the three-step format of who, what, and why, (along with some other fun and practical tips) you should be well-equipped to give your best elevator pitch yet.
Who are you? Jot down a couple of adjectives that describe yourself. Be sure to keep in mind what you do and what industry you’re in. Start broad and then get as specific as possible, as soon as possible. You’ll start to see a funnel that phases down from “female founder” to “PR guru with 10 years of experience in the industry.” State who you are in your company and remember to keep your adjectives relevant to your pitch– new clients don’t need to know that you’re the captain of your weekend rec softball team right now. Co-founder and CEO of FAVES, Amy Keller recommends sharing what makes you unique. You’ve got a short amount of time to sell yourself here, so make it count!
This is the meat of it all. What and why are a duo in the context of an elevator pitch. While you explain what you do and what you offer, you have the opportunity to speak to why your solution/product is the way to go. Opt for ‘power’ words here. It may help to write one to two sentences describing what you do and then go back in for a second draft, choosing more potent adjectives and seeing if there’s a more convincing way to share what you’re about. Engagement is key.
Here are some ways to help you craft your dream elevator pitch
Be confident! The CEO, and Founder Black Orchids PR, Chenadra Washington says “If you don’t believe in your pitch, you are going to have a hard time convincing someone else to.”
Check your timing. Female founder and CEO of Outdoor Dog Fun, Michelle Henry, shares she has been on both sides of a business pitch, and is aware that “one of the most important parts of constructing a business pitch is to have a concise pitch.” She says “company boards or investors won’t have much time to listen to you, and will have even shorter attention spans, so you need to cut in straight to the point, and have an absolutely watertight pitch that can be delivered under intense time pressure.”
Get specific. Amy Keller places emphasis on the fact that there’s no time for unnecessary verbiage. Keller says, “Be industry specific, not just saying “I’m in law.” What’s unique about you that would make you a valuable asset to another business?”
Practice, practice, practice! Pull out your phone and voice record while you give your pitch in the mirror. Watch your facial and body language and practice looking confident (even if you’re petrified inside). Ava Martin, the founder of Quality Water Lab, shares that one way to prepare is to prepare multiple variations of your pitch. The beauty of having those variations is that you can “adapt according to the target audience’s mood and the setting” and because of this, “you can pitch your ideas more effectively and receive a higher engagement from your niche.”
You’ve got the tools, now go for it! Don’t be afraid to draft– everyone starts somewhere and you might be surprised at what you can do.
Try a three to four sentence structure. Address who you are, what you do, why you do it and why that’s important. Walk away from the first draft and come back with fresh eyes. Ask someone for feedback in the meantime. Sometimes, we know what we want to share but there ends up being gaps in our writing. Take time to listen to feedback and see if the audience gathered everything you meant to share. From there, pick up the first draft and go back in– make the necessary changes. Then practice time begins!
Remember, you’re brilliant and one of a kind. Use these tips to craft your best elevator pitch yet and get pitchin’!