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The Elevator Pitch

 

Techniques Self-development > The Elevator Pitch

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Imagine you step into an elevator with the CEO from your company, or maybe the CEO of a customer company. What would you say? How could you describe yourself or what you are selling in the 30 to 60-second journey from the first to the tenth floor?

This person does not know you or your products. They are not stupid but they also may not understand any jargon. Every word must count and every word must be understood. The whole must also be abundantly clear and motivate the CEO to help you in the way that you seek.

You can do this with anyone. If you meet a stranger and they ask you what you do, you should be able to answer this question clearly and concisely.

Discussion

The principle of the 'elevator pitch' question is to get you to think about what you are seeking or selling, and summarize it clearly. Many people when challenged to do this are not very effective at the first go. Yet with support and challenge they can refine their pitch and communicate it well. They may also understand themselves better and so be more able to focus what they do.

In the example, the CEO represents somebody important that you want to influence. You can substitute this person with anyone else, of course.

A useful alternative exercise is to imagine a rich uncle has died and, instead of leaving you his money, he pre-spends it on a 60-second slot on prime-time television in which you have to sell yourself to the nation. What do you say? How could you create a long queue of people at your door wanting to hire you or buy from you?

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