Mistakes When Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Ah, the dreaded elevator pitch. It’s a concept that can make many marketing professionals and business owners riddled with anxiety. The elevator pitch isn’t anything new. It’s really just a quick introduction to an idea. It’s called an elevator pitch because when you’re in an elevator you have someone’s undivided attention for just a few short seconds. So the goal is to be able to convey your idea as quickly as possible.


Mistake #1 No Real Purpose

So you have an opportunity to pitch your story, idea, or release to someone. Maybe you’re pitching to the media. Now is your time to shine. You open your mouth and words just start tumbling out. Your listener nods their head and you walk away thinking you did a great job. But nothing happens. Why?

It may be because you didn’t have a purpose or a goal for your pitch – or the purpose wasn’t communicated. What is your ‘why’? Why do you want your story, idea, or release covered and why does the person you’re talking to care? How does your idea benefit your listener? If you don’t have a clear understanding of your purpose or how that fits into the wants, needs, and goals of your listener, you’re going to miss an opportunity.

Mistake #2 No Practice

Unless you’re a natural born salesperson who can quickly and easily think of all the right words to say, it’s a very good idea to practice your pitch. Yes, it sounds and looks silly to pitch to yourself in a mirror. However, the more comfortable you are with what you want to say, the easier it will be to sound natural, to have confidence in your message, and to be able to improvise on the spot. Practice your pitch before you deliver.

Mistake #3 No Personalization

Who are you pitching to and why should they care? Personalize your message to the listener. Know what’s important to them. This will help you not only gain their attention, but also to make sure you are able to move them to the next step.

Mistake #4 No Call to Action

What’s the next step? What do you want your listener to do once you’ve delivered your pitch? Whether you’re delivering the pitch in person, over the phone, or even via email there has to be some sort of call to action. Tell the listener not only why they want to take action but what they can do next if they’re interested in moving forward. Not leaving them with some sort of step often leads to no action at all.

Pitching is difficult. Elevator pitches put a lot of pressure on you to communicate a good deal of information in a short period of time. Write out what you want to say, why the listener cares, and what should happen next. Then practice. The more you practice and get used to pitching, the better you’ll get.

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Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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