5 Tips To Craft An Impactful Elevator Pitch

5 Tips To Craft An Impactful Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short and succinct, yet effective way of introducing yourself to others. The sole purpose is to get a telephone number, email contact or job opportunity.

It is crucial to know how to give an impactful elevator pitch because you never know who you are going to meet or bump into. As the saying goes “it’s not what you know, but who you know” that opens doors of opportunities for you.

Having taught thousands of students from both the universities and polytechnics how to craft impactful elevator pitches, I’m going to share this same 5-step formula with you in this blog so that you too can make it to the top.

#1: Be Clear

Be clear on who your target audience is.

If you attempt to serve everyone, you end up serving no one.

Honestly, you are better off being an expert in a chosen niche.

Compare a personal trainer and a weight loss specialist. Who will you engage if you are looking to lose weight effectively?

Well, the personal trainer will likely know how to train clients to lose weight. But I’m equally sure his repertoire also includes muscle building, toning and all the other fitness works.

On the other hand, a weight loss specialist does nothing else except focus on weight loss. Day in, day out, weight loss is his one and only passion. In short, he lives and breathes weight loss. And naturally he becomes an expert in this field. And for this one reason alone, that’s why specialists always get paid more than generalists.

A good way to decide who your target audience is to segment up the market – for example: babies, toddlers, teenagers, youths, working adults, mid-career executives, foreign students, seniors, CEOs, mothers, SMEs, MNCs etc.

Ok, I’m sure you get the idea.

#2: Be Memorable

I’ve heard so many elevator pitches that are run-of-the-mill. Simply put, they are so bland and ordinary that I don’t get excited at all. And this is not surprising.

School does not teach students how to craft impactful elevator pitches. Even renowned business college schools don’t teach this art because it is sacred and largely individual in nature.

You can’t have two elevator pitches that sound exactly the same, can you?

The nuance, the words chosen, the way you say it all makes a huge difference.

In a world where our attention span gets easily hijacked, being memorable is key.

Say what you want to say exactly the way how you would want others to perceive you.


#3: Be Crisp

When I say ‘crisp’, I’m referring to the length of the elevator pitch.

I’ve heard pitches that are as long-running as a Taiwanese soap drama that runs over 1000 episodes. OMG!

I’ve also heard pitches that are over faster than I can blink my eye.

Both will not make the grade.

A good guideline is 20 seconds. Anything longer, you should trim it. Anything shorter, you should add more meat to it.

Just think about this – 20 seconds is definitely manageable. Essentially, your elevator pitch is meant to be a hook that gets the other person or company interested to want to find out more.

Think of it like a striptease and not a full monty.

#4: Be Confident

Confidence is all about practice. Practice does not make perfect. What is perfect to you may be imperfect to me as we have different notions of what perfection entails.

Instead, practice makes permanent.

Practise your elevator pitch until it comes out of you naturally without you having to think of what to say next and how to say it. It should become second nature to you. No hemming and hawing.

Remember your body language, eye contact and hand gestures play vital roles too in helping you score brownie points.

#5: Use The Name-Drop Strategy

Now this is a bonus tip I teach my workshop participants.

Just like how we can AirDrop photos, documents and videos instantly on our iPhones, you must also learn how to use the name-drop strategy.

If you have worked or interned at a MNC, SME or government organization (internships are the in-thing nowadays at both universities and polytechnics), then include the name of that company or organization inside your elevator pitch.

Doing this gives you instant credibility and sends a message that you are not a complete novice trying to worm your way around. Instead you have had actual world experience in what you have just shared – regardless of your field, expertise or area of focus.

So there you have it – my 5 tips to craft an impactful elevator pitch. If I were you, I will get down to business and start drafting mine because it does take a few revisions to craft a solid one that wows. You will marvel at the power of the elevator pitch once you have complete mastery over it. Remember, you owe it to yourself to unlock the door of opportunity in front of you.