You get into the elevator and find you’re standing to the most powerful VC in town. And you’ve got 30 seconds to introduce yourself, tell him about your business and get his business card.
I doubt a scenario like this is ever likely to happen to any of us (feel free to comment to prove me wrong), but it’s still a good skill to have: being able to succinctly explain your business (or for that matter yourself) to someone. That in mind, I signed up to take the Elevator Pitch workshop put on by the Entrepreneurship Club (whose website is a little out of date in certain areas) last Wednesday. For me, events like these are the icing on the MBA-education cake, an opportunity to gain some extra skills they don’t teach you in class. And since I’m taking Understanding Entrepreneurial Management this term, it seemed to come at exactly the right time (everyone’s asking me what idea my team is pursuing and I’ve not yet perfected my 30 second story about it).
I really liked it. It was a little bit of theory followed by a lot of practice, and that’s just what you need, since it is a lot harder weaving the answers to the questions below into a 1 minute pitch than I thought beforehand. Here is the framework we used:
* Who’s on the team?
* What’s the customer need/pain that this idea addresses?
* How big is this opportunity/pain/market?
* How is your idea going to relieve the pain?
* What are the benefits to the customer AND to the listener?
* Why should the customer buy from you?
* What do you want from the listener?
Can I do a little I told you so?!?!?
that’s just what we do al day at Kirkman… (and told me not 2 pursue consulting…) the only thing is we stress the bit talking about helping the client and getting an extra 30 secs to prove right and another 30 for selling en negotiating terms…
sounds like you’re back in advising again sis!!!
Since you’re on the look out for an internship, what happens if you’re in the elevator (or lift as we call them in the UK) with the man (or woman) who can offer you that perfect internship in brand marketing/innovation?
Have you used your new-found skills in elevator-pitching to prepare one for yourself – who you are, what you’re looking for and what you need from them?
It’s much harder to do than it sounds and I wish I’d mastered it years ago… but get it right and (with a little adaptation) you’ll be able to network your way to anything you need for the rest of your life!
Thanks Wiseuncle! I agree wholeheartedly, being able to succinctly tell someone the who, what, how and why, are applicable in a ton of different situations. I’m trying to perfect my lift pitch for the brand ME now…. it’s hard work trying to come up without feeling embarrassed