"You have 30 seconds to tell me about your start-up idea."
That's your challenge when you unexpectedly meet the venture investor (or talented potential employee).
In very few words you must deliver something so compelling that when you are finished, they will say:
"Step off the elevator, tell me more, you have 3 minutes."
Now your challenge is to deliver the richer version that increases the person's interest so much that they say:
"Interesting. How about meeting me for an hour next Tuesday at 9:00 in the morning at my office?"
That opens the door to pitching your full story about your new adventure.
And it all began with the 30 second elevator pitch.
What makes an elevator pitch effective? Here are some tips from serial entrepreneurs:
- Cleverness. It should describe something out of the ordinary, a business that smacks of large potential, a product/service that is instantly appealing.
- Mystery. Selectively choose words that entice, trigger desire to hear more, like a mystery story that grabs and holds the attention of the reader from the first paragraph.
- Boldness. Without childish bravado, be confident of your idea so your tone and demeanor deliver an impression of confidence and courage.
- Facts. Include numbers, just a few, only ones that suggest the business has large potential and any that support your claim that this could be a game changer, so you leave an impression of large numbers on the left half of the brain.
- Images. Pictures in the mind leave graphic impressions, so try to use a metaphor that conveys your idea and stamps a picture on the right half of the brain.
- People. Describe your core team, why you are together and what makes each a standout for your business.
- Why. Be sure to ask for the order, either the round of financing you are looking for, or the talented person you are hunting for.
There you have it, the key elements for an effective elevator pitch. Now try yours out, right now, without more practice. Then compare it to the above and start improving it.
BOTTOM LINE: Simple can be powerful. Elevator pitches can start an avalance. Short stories are very challenging to write well, so expect to do a lot of work before yours is in top form. Serial entrepreneurs respect that, it's one of their secrets to success. When you can prepare an elevator pitch as effective as theirs, you'll begin building your unfair advantage.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!