Concision is key
With less than a minute to capture your audience’s attention, each sentence should be impactful, strong, direct and yet easy to understand.
A few simple rules:
- One idea per sentence
- No longer than 30 words a sentence
- Get striaght to the point - try not to include long leading sentences
- keep the context relatable and personal
Skip tricky words
Words which are either too profound or difficult to pronounce should be excluded. If a pitch is laced with jargons, uncommon or profound words, your audience might end up focusing their attention to deciphering its meaning, instead of paying attention to your pitch. Difficult to pronounce words like “discombobulated” or “pro bono publico” might look great on a report but definitely not when used during a pitch.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
One key point of an elevator pitch is to ensure that your concept or product’s USP is clearly conveyed to your audience. What features make it different from its closest competitor? For example, “Transportation predicting software for public transport in the market are only 70% accurate, but with our program we have managed to attain 85% accuracy during our beta test phase.”
Include a question
Including a question at any point of your speech is a great way to recapture or bring attention to a particular feature you want to focus on. Try to phrase an open-ended question, to encourage question and conversation post-pitch. An example of an open-ended question would be “What are your thoughts about your company’s induction programme?”
Practice, practice and more practice
There is no escape, practice does make a huge difference! Recite your pitch in front of the mirror, while showering, in front of others and at any other opportunity you have. With practice, delivery is almost guaranteed to be smoother, which then also makes you sound more confident. Particular attention should also be paid to your own facial expressions and body language, as it tells as much to your audience as the words in your pitch do. Some actions which should be avoided include excessive hand movements, crossing of arms and fidgeting of hair or attire.