2.6 The Art of Mastering an Elevator Pitch in 6 Steps

The Goal of an Elevator Pitch

An elevator speech earned its name from of the amount of time you have to talk to someone as you ride together in an elevator—usually less than 30 seconds.

If you were in an elevator with a potential prospect, would you be able to convince him/her to have a more in-depth conversation with you in the time it takes to get to your floor?

Conventional elevator pitches revolve around moving forward in a buying cycle—essentially, they’re used by salesman. 

1. Sketch out what makes you unique

Your first job is to sketch out everything that makes your film unique.

2. Add a sense of mystery

Next, make sure there’s an air of mystery in your speech. Don’t give away the “secret sauce” right away.

Giving the gist of your idea, rather than the full scoop, does two things for you: it reduces the total load of your pitch, and entices users to be more interested in what else you have to say.

If you can, try to add mystery by reducing some of the content you’ve already sketched out, rather than adding new content.

3. Come up with a call to action

What do you want your prospects to do after hearing your elevator speech?

Do you want them to act in your short film? Assist you with the filming or editing?  Contribute any new ideas?

4. Cut, cut, and cut some more

Hopefully, by this step you’ve got a comprehensive, unique, mysterious, and actionable elevator speech that will appeal to almost anyone you talk to.

The big problem remaining with it is probably the length. You need to fit this into 30 seconds, so your next job is to make cuts.

Cut anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, from extra details to unneeded elaborations. Keep your phrasing short and to-the-point, and try to combine phrases to make your full piece shorter.

5. Know your body language

Having an effective written elevator speech isn’t the same as delivering one effectively.

You should learn and rehearse key points of body language to persuade your audience. You’ll want to maintain eye contact and keep an open body posture, and smile at your prospect whenever possible.

Small touches like these might not seem important, but they can make or break a first impression and therefore make or break your entire deal.

6. Practice! But not too much

When it comes to both the body language and delivery of your elevator speech, practice makes perfect.

Rehearse your pitch in a mirror and with other people who want to help you out.

Learn your key phrases, and make sure you can fit everything into your 30 second time slot.

There’s one caveat though, don’t over-rehearse.

If you practice too much, your phrasing will end up sounding clunky and robotic, and you’ll end up making a worse impression than if you’d said nothing at all.

Keep your phrasing loose and natural, and always speak from the heart.

Sincerity is key to making a bold impression.