When trying to impress potential investors, entrepreneurs need to dedicate significant time to refining the pitch that they give to convince audiences that their business has merit. At the same time, entrepreneurs should not neglect their elevator speech, which is a short, 30- to 60-second talk that ropes individuals into the idea in the first place. Without an exciting and enticing elevator pitch, it can be difficult to get the attention of potential investors. However, elevator speeches are often more difficult than the long-format pitches since individuals have such little time to cover essential information and somehow appeal to the investor. Below are some tips on how to craft the best elevator pitch.
Include all of the relevant information.
Entrepreneurs need to cover a lot of ground in what amounts to less than a minute without overwhelming an audience. This requirement is perhaps the greatest challenge of the elevator pitch, and it requires some degree of sacrifice. While not all of the necessary topics can get equal airtime, it is important that each of them gets at least a cursory touch. The most essential information will include what the product is, the problem it is trying to address, and the solution that it provides. Potential investors will want to know how the company will make money, who exactly is developing the product, and what kind of traction the product has already earned.
In order to make the best impression, individuals also need to mention the competition and how the product stands out from the pack. Entrepreneurs need to take the time to consider which of these points will likely appeal most to the audience at hand and highlight those topics over the others. Ultimately, this editing may mean that each audience will receive a slightly different speech as a result of personalization.
Focus on credibility.
Potential investors hear an overwhelming number of elevator pitches each month, and they may mostly tune them out due to a lack credibility. To that end, entrepreneurs need to think about what makes their company desirable and believable. If a company has already made partnerships or worked with big brands, individuals should throw those names out there in the speech. Likewise, any support that an entrepreneur has already received from known sources lends credibility to the product. Some entrepreneurs leave this information out because it may sound like bragging, but that is exactly the point of an elevator speech. Numbers are also a source of credibility. If a product has a large user base already, give an exact number. If revenue is already coming in, quantify that income.
Leave out a lot of the details.
Naturally, entrepreneurs are excited about their projects and apt to go into an incredible amount of detail that will quickly exhaust the time allotted for their speech. Elevator pitches must be short or else potential investors will stop paying attention or, worse, simply walk away. By choosing the most enticing details for inclusion, entrepreneurs will build an appetite for more information. At the end of the speech, a potential investor should have questions. These questions are what will lead to a meeting where a more thorough speech can cover the specifics, and that later conversation could lead to investment. The best elevator pitches are those that leave a bit of mystery. However, the balance is a delicate one. If there is too much mystery, then an investor may simply walk away confused. On the other hand, if there are too many details, an investor could also walk away confused.
Give the speech with confidence.
Few things are more appealing to a potential investor than an entrepreneur who exudes confidence in a product. After all, if the creator is not confident, then how can potential customers expect to want the product? Confidence is something that individuals must practice. Writing the elevator speech is not enough. Individuals need to practice it until they can rattle it off without thinking too much about it. Memorization allows one to focus on the other elements of delivery, such as body language and eye contact.
Overpracticing a speech can also lead to danger, however, if a pitch comes out in a mechanical way. Individuals should not rush through their speech or sound detached from it. The key is finding the right balance between passion and restraint. Also, entrepreneurs need to remember that fumbling is fine and they can simply smile and start the sentence again. To find the right balance, it is wise to pitch to as many people as possible, including friends and family, and ask for feedback.
Make the speech motivational.
Ultimately, an elevator pitch is a call to action. Entrepreneurs give these speeches because they want or need something from an investor. At the end of a speech, it is critical to include the specific call to action that explains what the company needs and why. This call to action is what will actually motivate the investor to continue learning more if the speech was appealing. The pitches are most motivational when the potential investor starts to really care about the product. This level of care often comes from the personal touch that an entrepreneur puts on each delivery of the speech. Before pitching to a potential investor, doing a bit of research can help individuals understand motivations, interests, and passions. Then, appealing to these factors in the speech will reel in the potential investors and motivate them to say yes once the call to action comes.