Elevator pitch presentation: the ultimate guide
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Elevator pitch presentation: the ultimate guide

What is an elevator pitch? What is an elevator pitch designed to do? And even more importantly – what makes a good elevator pitch? It is probably one of the most common presentation types – and it’s easy to see why. It is brief, effective, and completely universal since you can use this format in pretty much any sphere – from business to making friends. So, let’s find exactly what it is and how to make a really good elevator pitch!

What’s the deal with elevators?

The elevator pitch is a subspecies of pitch deck design, actually got its name from the business world, where time and connections are among the most valued assets. In such an environment, even an elevator ride becomes an opportunity that you can`t waste. A usual elevator ride lasts from 20 seconds up to a minute. Squeeze your points into this time frame  – and here’s your elevator pitch! As you can see, you`ve got an extremely short amount of time on your hands. The key principle here is to use this time wisely – now THAT really takes time and effort to prepare.

What is an elevator pitch designed to do?

To put it shortly, an elevator pitch is designed to introduce either you or your product or project. Keep in mind that your audience would most probably be complete strangers. Your goal here is to catch their attention and spark interest. Depending on what you want to achieve, there may be different types of elevator pitch presentations:

  • Introductory elevator pitch – fits anywhere from expos to business meetings – wherever you need to introduce yourself
  • Job interview elevator pitch – fits for making a fast overview of your skills and competencies for your potential employer
  • “Selling” elevator  pitch – fits for either sell your product or getting funding to make one

Is there any place for visual design in an elevator pitch?

Absolutely yes! Even though elevator pitch is an extremely short presentation, in the times of Google Slides templates, a designer elevator pitch is actually an advantage we in Slidepeak highly advertise. The visuals would help you illustrate your point, making it even more effective. Depending on your topic, it may be some piece of important data, photos of your products, or maybe a set of infographics that gives the listeners more insights into your elevator pitch. Be careful to choose only the most informative and effective visuals – you`ll only have one chance to impress the audience with them!

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What to include in an elevator pitch?

Now we`re getting to the most important part of your elevator pitch. You’ll obviously won`t be able to tell much in a minute or less. But don`t think that the small amount would make it easier for you – in fact, creating a good elevator pitch is much harder than a usual presentation! To get the most out of an elevator pitch, try to strip your presentation down to the basics and add details one by one:

  • Introduction (10 seconds) – the essentials of an elevator pitch. Who you are, what you do, what do you offer. Focus on clarity and speed here, especially with the job titles (it’s better to use common titles, even if your company has some special made-up ones)
  • The problem (20 seconds) – the hook of your elevator pitch. This is a part where you should grab the audience’s attention. Describe a common issue that occurs to most of your audience. Or, get creative and tell a short story that illustrates such an issue.
  • Solution (30 seconds) – the core of an elevator pitch. This is where the audience finds out exactly what you can offer. In this part, you can use a “hitting a goal” approach – aim at what bothers the audience the most – and hit right at this spot!

How to speak at an elevator pitch?

Now that we`re finished with the content let`s talk about how you speak at an elevator pitch. Actually, time may be quite an enemy here. You start talking faster because you are worried and because there`s so little time for you to speak. And if you are a fast talker casually, this may result in your pitch feeling rushed and hard to follow. Try keeping a relaxed approach to how you speak. Your steady and clear rhythm will create a feeling of confidence in what you are talking about. And with confidence comes credibility.

How to end an elevator pitch?

The ending is as important as the beginning, if not more! To finish your pitch with the best possible result, finish it by engaging your audience. Ask for any questions, whether further explanations are needed, and so on. Offer your business card to anyone interested in further negotiations. What you have to do is to spark a discussion after you finished your presentation. Actually, it could be said that at the end of your elevator pitch, you should ask a question that would allow you to continue it – whether in private with the interested parties or with the audience as a whole!

What to avoid in an elevator pitch?

We`ve already talked about speaking too fast, but what are the other mistakes that you may want to avoid? The key thing in an elevator pitch, apart from its size, is the clarity. Therefore, avoid complex words, terms, or abbreviations. Another important thing is the structure. Don`t start talking about how cool your product is right away; the audience would not be much interested. Finally, think about how you move and what you do during your elevator pitch. Too many gestures and overall movement may appear annoying, while not moving at all would make you sound dull. So, try to find a balance!

There`s a lot of stuff you should consider when preparing the elevator pitch, isn`t it? Sure, especially if you`re looking for some tips before your first presentation, it all may seem like too much. However, with the right approach, you can easily achieve the best result! Just keep it simple, short, and informative – and you will thrive!

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