Goodbye awkward elevator silences

img_3995Well, the dreaded elevator pitch is finally behind us. And, like most dreaded life happenings, in hindsight it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, the adrenaline rush was exhilarating and left me eager to do more elevator pitches in the future.

While it was a little nerve racking, and maybe painful for some, I think my classmates and I would all agree that giving it was a really great learning experience. If we were to give them again, I know at least for myself, there are some small changes I would make to my pitch based off of how the audience responded, and from what I gathered watching the other pitches.

What would I do differently? I would slow down, mention why my product is better than the current competition, make my presentation more conversational than rehearsed, boost my enthusiasm a couple notches and reword my idea transitions to make it easier to understand. With practice, I know these changes should come naturally and my pitch will improve.

When I first sat down to write my draft, I struggled trying to decide how to begin. I had an eight page market analysis before me, and condensing a lot of research down to sixty seconds looked like quite the challenge. So, I did what any college kid does when faced with a challenge: I turned to Google. My Search: How to write the perfect elevator pitch.

After browsing through several articles from business websites like Forbes and Inc., a pattern of similar key tips for the perfect pitch was evident.

  1. Make it simple
  2. Know your audience
  3. Practice
  4. Have an easy-to-follow structure
  5. And be enthusiastic! (this wasn’t included in any of the lists but came from business professional, Carol Zuegner)

I started by finding the golden nuggets of Noted!, our music study app that turns study materials into the lyrics for catchy beats or popular songs. Then I explained the reasoning behind the app, touched on our target market and the trends associated with it, outlined the pain point we were fixing and wrapped it up with a catchy tagline: “The students have voted, and they picked Noted! Quit cramming, and start jamming.”

Overall, it was a really good experience for all of us, and if anything else, good practice for our futures. Being able to publicly speak effectively is an important life skill, and like a lot of things, the more you do it, the better and more comfortable you become at it. And, I realized that knowing how to do an elevator pitch isn’t just helpful for launching a new product, but for so many facets of life. It’s a smart idea to have an elevator pitch ready for whatever company it is your working for, and even for yourself to be able to sell who you are in a concise and interesting fashion.

Stairs? No thanks, let’s take the elevator. I’ve got something to tell you.

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