Having a great elevator pitch in your arsenal of marketing tools is essential for networking and personal marketing. Making it clear, concise and memorable can often be challenging. Here’s a few quick tips for creating your perfect 30-second speech.

  1. Don’t Make It Hard Sell or Like a Pitch
    Your pitch should be like a conversation at a cocktail party when someone asks you “so what do you do?”. Speak plainly and simply, no industry jargon or terms. Think about how you would explain your job at career day to a classroom of 7th graders.
  2. Just the Facts Ma’am
    Stick to the important points…who you are, what you do, what is your key unique selling proposition (what sets you apart from the competition) and something to take the conversation to the next step
  3. People Not Companies
    Don’t be shy about introducing yourself first—your name, your job description, then your company. Others want to know you, the person they are potentially going to do business with, not a cold, impersonal company. It is ok to use the word “I” vs. “we” in the elevator pitch.
  4. Listen
    Pay close attention to reactions and the questions you get in return to your introduction. If someone asks a very basic clarification question about what you do, then you probably need to revisit the introduction. If they are asking questions to obtain more details on some specific point, then you’re on the right track, you’ve established a reason to continue the dialogue.
  5. Always Carry Your Business Cards
    At the end of each pitch, have your business card at the ready. Don’t ask people to remember things in their head, make it easy for them by putting it in their hands. The combination of visual and auditory input helps people remember the conversation easier later. And, reciprocate, listen to their pitch and take their card as well.

From the 30-second pitch that’s one on one, you can embellish it to create the 30-second intro you may have to present to a crowd at a larger networking venue such as a Chamber of Commerce breakfast or industry association luncheon where the microphone gets passed around the room.

Years ago, I was part of a large networking group that met every week for breakfast.  I developed an elevator speech that after a few weeks, most of the regulars had memorized and mimicked my gestures along with me when I began each week and we had a good time pushing the envelope with it. It went something like this:

In a very loud, projected and energetic voice (think Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam)…

Good Morning Everyone. My name is Suzan Marie Chin, Vice President of Fat Cat Media Services, the multimedia division of Thompson Data Systems, Limited. (this was done in one long breath)

take a big exhale sigh and continue

That’s a long name for a small company that’s big on creative services. (this was accompanied by wild arm gestures, indicating wide, tiny and then expansive sizes).

We get your message across through graphic design for print media and trade shows, video and  multimedia production, public relations and the world wide web.

I look forward to speaking with you after the meeting. Suzan Marie Chin, Fat Cat Media Services, We Get Your Message Across.

We received a Most Business Received Award from this networking group and I believe a good part of my company’s success with this group was due to this introduction that compelled people to talk to me after the weekly meetings.

For more ideas on creating your pitch visit: http://www.buzzuka.com

Happy pitching!