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Thu 3 Sep 2020

Elevator Pitches


Business Consulting & Coaching
In this blog, Jacqueline Nagle discusses the fundamental errors people make during an elevator pitch and some of the myths surrounding them.

It would help if you listened to what is happening around you. The speaker often focuses on sharing one thing, and they concentrate on how to perfect the elevator, the 1 minute and 2 minutes pitches.

Usually, though responses can range from fist-pumping NAILED IT!!! To seriously???? Above all, be authentic, be the enthusiastic you and deliver with passion.

Some Important Lessons

The first and most crucial point is to STOP apologising. Many people right across Australia are standing up in rooms and opening their elevator pitch with I’m not a great speaker; I’m not good at this, please bare with me… STOP it!

This is for two reasons:

  • You are wasting valuable moments where you could just simply be talking about the problems you find and solve.
  • Focus on what you are good or even GREAT at and speak to that; don’t make the most memorable thing about you your apology.

One of the most valuable lessons imparted by one of the worlds’ top speakers recently… Don’t ever open with a question, unless:

  1. It is a simple yes or no answer, or
  2. You KNOW 90% of the audience will answer the way you want them to, or
  3. You won’t have to ask the question more than once to move the audience to where you need them.

Avoid getting loaded up with too many options in too short a time frame. You have 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes in an elevator pitch. Don’t confuse people. Find the ONE thing that will make the most impact. Design one message around that one thing, and remember even when on a stage in front of thousands, the most successful pitches and presentations are delivered like in a one on one conversation. Every time!

Find the unique lens. Position yourself to not just stand out from the crowd, but to give potential customers the one thing they all want – a sense of safety and security. It’s okay to invest with you!

Only be funny if you are genuinely funny, if it is how you are when you are having a glass of wine with your girlfriends, a beer at the bar, or after a run with your mates. Don’t script funny; don’t script jokes; don’t follow the (very old) mantra of you have to get them to laugh in the first few moments – unless that is how you show up in your everyday world. Otherwise, unconsciously all the audience knows is that they hear a script and so begin wondering what else is just a script. They want to see and feel where the real you sit.

So perhaps the most important thing to share with you is to just be you in your elevator pitch. Are you nervous, confident, experienced, or inexperienced? None of that matters if the audience can feel your passion, your knowledge, or your joy in what you do for people.


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