How to Write a Compelling Elevator Pitch for Your Startup
You’ve got a great idea for a startup. You know it has potential, and you’re ready to take the plunge and make your vision a reality. But before you start down that path, you need to craft a compelling elevator pitch.
So, what is an elevator pitch and why is it so important? An elevator pitch is a brief, yet powerful, introduction to your startup. The name is derived from the idea of pitching to someone during a short elevator ride—about 30 seconds. It should concisely describe your business, the problem you are addressing and the solution your startup provides. A well-crafted elevator pitch is your opportunity to make a great first impression and generate interest in your startup early. It can help you stand out to investors, and can also be used to validate your idea, recruit team members, and attract customers and partners.
No matter the audience, remember that if you can’t capture their attention in a matter of seconds, you’ll likely lose them.
Here’s What Really Matters in an Elevator Pitch
Writing a strong and compelling elevator pitch is essential for any startup, but it can be tricky to boil down your business into a 30-second synopsis. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Keep it simple. You only have 30 seconds, so make sure your pitch is concise and to the point. Don’t waste time describing your backstory or explaining the ins and outs of your business. Get right to the point and explain why your startup is something they should be interested in.
- Be clear: Make sure your pitch is easy to understand. Don’t use complex terms or industry jargon that people won’t know. You want to appeal to a wide audience, so explain your product or service in simple, everyday terms.
- Make it engaging. You want your pitch to be interesting enough to capture your listener’s attention, so make sure you highlight the most exciting aspects of your business. Focus on what makes your startup unique and why people should care.
- Revisit if needed. As your startup evolves, so should your elevator pitch. Keep your pitch up-to-date so that it accurately represents your company and any developments.
Why Your Elevator Pitch is Missing the Mark
Even the best elevator pitches can sometimes fall flat. Here are a few common mistakes that can doom your pitch before it even starts. Your elevator pitch is missing the mark if it:
- Focuses on you, not your startup. Don’t spend time talking about yourself or your background. The focus should be on your startup and the problem it solves.
- Lacks clarity. Make sure your pitch is easy to understand and avoid using industry jargon. Pay attention to questions that come immediately after your pitch. If you are getting the same questions from various audiences, you should probably change your elevator pitch to address those questions.
- Is too long. Stick to 30 seconds or less. You don’t want to overwhelm your listener with too much information at once.
If your elevator pitch falls flat, don’t worry! It can take some time to perfect. Try revising it and soliciting feedback from friends and family. Joining an entrepreneurial group or attending startup events is a great way to get feedback from experienced entrepreneurs. You can also try recording yourself and watching playback to identify areas that need improvement.
With a well-crafted elevator pitch, you can capture your listener’s attention and generate interest in your startup. Don’t hesitate to get input from others and revise your pitch as needed. And remember–practice makes perfect. Before long, you’ll be able to deliver an elevator pitch that will make a lasting impression.
Elevator Pitch Tips
- Plan, Prepare, and PRACTICE
- Keep it simple
- Don’t use jargon or industry acronyms
- Don’t ramble or sound like an infomercial
- Think about your body language
- Don’t continue if your listener disengages from the conversation
- Practice more
Looking to perfect your elevator pitch? Check out these upcoming events:
- March 24: Make Your Elevator Pitch Click
- March 29: Tuesday Talk – Pitch Deck 101: Elevator Pitch VS Value Prop (Reach out to your EIR for more info)
- March 31: Being Confident When Pitching Your Startup (it matters!)