8 Ways to Improve Your Elevator Pitch

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Crafting the perfect elevator speech is both an art and a science in which the speaker must clearly describe the product or service he or she is offering, the problem it solves or need it fulfills, and how it differs from the competition. Lorraine Howell, founder of Seattle-based Media Skills Training and author of Give Your Elevator Speech a Lift! ($12.95; Book Publishers Network), offers the following tips to help entrepreneurs polish their pitch:

1. Keep it short. “You have about 10 seconds to capture someone’s imagination. It’s almost like tweeting in real life,” says Howell. “When people are asking you what you do, what they’re really asking is ‘What can you do for me?’ And they’re listening for that benefit.”

2. Talk about the results, not the process. Most elevator speeches fail because people talk about how they do what they do instead of the results or benefits they provide, Howell points out.

3. Use your imagination. “Come up with something that grabs people by the lapels. It’s a kind of hook to tease them into wanting to hear more.”

4. Remember your audience. Understand who it is you’re trying to attract and say something that’s meaningful to them. Howell says people often tell the audience what they think is important rather than what the audience thinks is important.

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Source: Black Enterprise

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