• Connector Street

Ups and Downs of the Elevator Pitch

By Andrea Tinianow, Connector-in-Chief, Connector Street

Anyone who has ever looked for a job, or sought out new clients knows the importance of the elevator pitch. It does the heavy lifting in the world of business and commerce.

A good elevator pitch provides enough information about you and/or your business so that people will want to employ or engage you, all in about 30 seconds. So, your pitch needs to be interesting, compelling, credible. It’s not easy. This video offers tips for creating an effective pitch.

Because the elevator pitch is so important to attracting new business (or employment), we should strive to make our pitch better, more effective, more compelling. Once we’ve got it perfected, we stick with it, right? Ehh, not so much.

Just as there is no single elevator, there is no single elevator pitch. If you use the same elevator pitch with everyone you meet, you won’t get the results you are looking for. Don’t be tethered to the language that you started with. Change up your words depending on who you are talking to. What is their background? What are they passionate about? Where do your interests intersect?

What’s more, if you deliver the very same pitch every time, your delivery could become wooden. If you’re bored saying the same thing every time, your audience will be too.

What’s the answer?

Listen and watch how people respond when you deliver your pitch. Does your audience seem engaged and interested? Or, do they look away when you speak? How is the response? Use this helpful feedback to tweak your pitch, and don’t ever stop tweaking.

But it doesn’t end there.

Sometimes you should consider ditching your elevator pitch altogether. These are moments when a non-scripted conversation would work better. When I am speaking to someone at an event or on a Zoom call, and I hear the person launch into their elevator pitch, I find it hard to concentrate. My brain turns off. It’s like I’m watching a commercial on TV. I can hear the sound, but I can’t recall the message.

I much prefer if someone can speak directly about the work they do, why they like to spend their time that way, and what they offer their clients and customers. Frankly, the candid approach is so refreshing, I often want to learn more. And I pepper my new friend with questions because I really am interested in what they have to say. Isn’t that what we are really looking for anyway, to create a real connection with someone new, someone who might hire us, or buy from us or do business with us?

Then there are times when I pass up the opportunity to deliver an elevator pitch altogether. Someone I’ve just met might ask me about myself, and instead of picking up the mantle to deliver my pitch, I simply say, “why don’t you tell me about yourself, I’ve been talking all day.” And then I sit back and listen.

Andrea Tinianow is a Delaware attorney and founder of the Connector Street app.

Andrea is a frequent speaker on a range of topics related to networking, innovation, blockchain technology and the law. You can learn more about her here. Watch Andrea’s TedX talk here. Read her Forbes.com articles here.