Top-Shelf Tip No. 69:

"Your audience is waiting for your stories. They have memory slots tailor-made to light up and remember you."

Steve Woodruff

Six Tips To Get Your Elevator Pitch Off The Ground Floor

You know the importance of an elevator pitch—that concise, catchy speech that should take about as long as a quick elevator ride. An elevator pitch allows you to communicate the most important aspects of you and your business. Once you polish your elevator speech, you can use it anywhere and with anyone.

While it seems easy enough to craft a 60-second communication that could potentially land you a new client or new job, many salespeople never get around to creating one. Journalist and entrepreneur Amy George wrote a recent article for Inc. sharing how to get your elevator pitch off the ground. We highlight her wisdom in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Keep it short. An elevator pitch is meant to be brief-about 30 to 60 seconds. When you're thinking of what you'd like to include in your speech, George suggests writing out what you want to say and then editing it down to about 100 words. While nobody times an elevator speech, you don't want to lose someone's interest if you ramble on for too long. By sticking to a concise message, you also make it easy for the listener to remember who you are and what you do.

2. Practice by reading your speech out loud. Get comfortable with your pitch. Listen to where you stumble or sound forced. You want your elevator pitch to sound like you. You can also time yourself to make sure your delivery lands in the timeframe of about a minute or less. Keep in mind that when you deliver your speech to another person, you might rush it or go slower. Accommodate for these fluctuations in your writing.

3. Try it out on a friend or colleague. Tap a friend or coworker to listen to your speech and give you feedback on what sounded great and what needs to be explained better. Can you condense some information or did you leave out any interesting points? It's helpful to get honest feedback from someone who knows you well.

4. Revise it. George suggests revising and practicing your elevator pitch until you feel confident. Go back to your friendly audience if you need to.

5. Give it a shot in public. When you're ready to take your elevator pitch live, try it out at your next business lunch, networking function or coffee shop meeting. Reflect later on what you liked about the speech and what you may need to tweak. Also consider how your audience responded.

6. Revisit your speech often and create different versions. Remember that your elevator pitch isn't set in stone and remains a living document. It will change as your career or work continues to evolve. George says it's also a good idea to create different versions for different audiences, occasions or aspects of your business that you want to highlight.

A compelling elevator pitch allows you to make a great impression and expand your professional network. If you've been stuck about how to create one, don't put it off any longer. Use George's advice to create an effective and memorable speech.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Amy George is a journalist, corporate communications professional, entrepreneur, fitness instructor and owner of By George Communications. She helps people and businesses tell stories so they get noticed and celebrated in ways that lead to bigger and better things.

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