Most small business owners spend a fair amount of time on the networking circuit. Sometimes networking events involve talking with individuals, a group of people or sitting next to someone during a business lunch or presentation. But, sometimes part of the networking process involves standing up and talking about you or your business to an audience.
While the elevator pitch is a great way to showcase your business or your skills, the time allotted to each person is usually only about one minute. So, how do you attract attention in such a short time?
There are a number of variables that are ultimately working against you and your presentation.
The average attention span of a person is usually about 10-12 minutes. While that is fine for a one minute elevator pitch, but keep in mind you might be on the end of a whole room of presentations so a lot of thought needs to go into making your elevator pitch catchy, interesting and relevant.
You might be nervous in the lead up to your elevator pitch and have been stressed about standing up and speaking without really listening to any that have been given before you. If you are feeling this way, it is pretty likely that there are other people in the room who feel the same so you need to get their attention.
There might be background noise that will affect the audience’s ability to hear the pitch.
In developing your elevator pitch consider what other people in the room may be thinking or feeling. How can you make your topic or your business relevant to them? Try and determine who your audience is and adjust your message accordingly.
Address the audience by acknowledging their pain. Most people continue to be influenced by what they read, see and hear from major media outlets. Try and consider how newsworthy topics relate to your business. Use these topics as part of your elevator pitch, but offer the solution to the problem.
Refer to your experience or credentials as part of the pitch. You or your business may have won awards, you may have academic qualifications, and you may have been featured in the media or already have noteworthy clients. Consider and talk about what makes you an expert?
As a business owner you are probably very proud about your product or service, but if your message isn’t relevant or you don’t capitalise on some fear or uncertainty that is currently being highlighted in news and current affairs then you are missing the opportunity to truly connect with the audience.
Consider your words carefully and regularly change them as topical issues change and develop. By not connecting you are ultimately missing the opportunity to persuade people to take action and to follow up with you to find out more about you, your product or your service.