Elevator pitch or simply “What do you do for a living?”. A freelancer or self-employed person hears this question again and again at a party or a business event. No matter where, the elevator pitch is a unique opportunity to present all the advantages of yourself and the company within a very short time.
Elevator Pitch: A short presentation
According to acronymmonster, the elevator pitch is nothing more than a short presentation that serves to convince an investor of a business idea within a very short time. But Elevator Pitch is also a short, very well-planned and well-organized description of your own professional activity that even grandma and grandpa would understand. An elevator pitch only lasts as long as it takes to travel in the elevator to the 7th floor, i.e. around 30 to 90 seconds and hence the name.
In German you could also say “elevator presentation”, but that sounds terrible. The name Elevator Pitch comes from the fact that in the past, young career-oriented climbers used the duration of an elevator ride to convince their superiors of their concerns, and that within a very short time.
The elevator pitch is not about presenting the complete plan, rather it is the first step in convincing the other person to even look at or listen to it.
The goal of the elevator pitch
It should never be forgotten that there is no second chance for the first impression and that especially applies to the elevator pitch. To ensure that this first impression is crowned with success, a few important points should be observed:
- The addressee and the interested parties should be addressed directly on an emotional level.
- Rhetorical questions, metaphors and speaking in pictures are helpful.
- Foreign words should be avoided and it should be spoken clearly and distinctly.
This is important, because the ultimate goal is to make the potential investor sit up and take notice within a few seconds and convince him that he wants to deal with the business idea in depth.
The main goal of the elevator pitch is to receive an invitation to a detailed discussion in which the detailed business plan is presented.
Where is the elevator pitch needed?
Venture capital companies in particular prefer the elevator pitch because it enables them to get an overview of the business idea within a maximum of 2 minutes. Accordingly, the venture capital companies use VC events to listen to a series of elevator pitches, whereupon they decide which presentation is convincing and which founders they want to meet for a detailed discussion.
But it is also worthwhile for other companies that do not need VC money to prepare an elevator pitch, because after all, other investors such as banks or business partners often have to be convinced of an idea. The elevator pitch is also useful for public relations, because after all, you have little time to present the company in the media.
This is how an elevator pitch is set up
First of all, the good news, because the basis for the elevator pitch already exists with the executive summary, i.e. the summary of the business plan, because it contains all the essential information for the elevator pitch.
Now it is important that all elements of the executive summary are filtered out and packaged “sexy”: Idea & target group, market & unique selling point and the founding team. The AIDA formula, which comes from marketing, should help to create a convincing elevator pitch.
- A_Attention: Gain attention
- I_Interest: Get the listener’s interest
- D_Desire: awaken the listener’s desire
- A_Action: Let’s go!
The first few seconds are crucial and therefore attention must be gained right from the start. It is also important to convey to the listener that you can start immediately with 100%. Once again the clear goal of the elevator pitch is to get a follow-up interview!