I don’t take elevators very much anymore. Whether I’m at work, in school or at home, there’s always a stairwell that’s more convenient, more active and quicker to climb. Though stairs may be more tiring to climb, pitching someone your business idea in the span of an elevator ride is definitely more challenging.
Like climbing the stairs, you’re definitely out of breath by the end of your 60 second spiel. You’re so focused on covering all your bases (i.e. your market, pressure point, competitive advantage etc.) that you have to be careful to not stumble over your words, talk too fast or worst of all – get lost completely. Nothing says “I don’t know what I’m doing” more than having to start your pitch over again. You have to remember that you’re selling yourself as much as you’re selling your product or idea.
When I began drafting my elevator pitch, I watched a lot of pitches from the University of Dayton and the University of Utah. I especially took notes on a pitch for a travel companion website called TravelBlender and another pitch for an item identification app called Mach 3 ID. Like in the Mach 3 ID pitch, I wanted to bookend my pitch with an anecdote. For my app FreshShelf, that anecdote consisted of a busy working mom trying to preparing dinner for her family.
Finding the statistics that were memorable and expressive was the next step. A quick search with key terms revealed that the average American family of four throws away more than $2,000 in spoiled food. An app like FreshShelf would save families that money. Furthermore, 69 percent of moms in the U.S. use smartphones, which makes an app like FreshShelf accessible to those who most need it.
After weaving these statistics into the pitch, I practiced, practiced, practiced so that when it came time to deliver my pitch, I wasn’t never. I did get caught on one part, but I quickly recovered and finished on a high note. I definitely learned that practicing in front of others is the best way to be confident with your pitch. A good elevator pitch can take you to the top floor.