We kicked off our first elevator pitch workshop and roundtables event at our Silicon Valley location a couple of months ago and it turned out to be a big hit. In preparation of our fundraising series coming up, we thought it’d be a good time to recap on some best practices for elevator pitches.
Having a polished elevator pitch is something every entrepreneur should adopt. The purpose of the elevator pitch is to convey the message of your company in a simple and concise manner. You need to solicit interest from an investor before you lose their attention, so the best points must be delivered early and quickly. Here are a few guidelines to help you as you build your elevator pitch.
- What market are you in?
- What urgent problem are you solving?
- What is the size of the opportunity?
- Why will you win (differentiation, barriers to entry, unfair advantage)?
- Where is the validation (customers, investors, etc.)?
2. If available, be sure to include strong customer validation. What better way to prove your company’s validity than by having a clear example?
3. Do not use industry jargon. You can’t assume your audience has the same industry knowledge as you. Keep your language simple. Investors are people too.
4. Practice your delivery. A good elevator pitch takes numerous practices before it’s perfected.
5. Timing. The best elevator pitches are the ones that can be conveyed in under a minute (30 seconds is ideal). It’s called an elevator pitch for a reason. We once heard from an investor that he had to sit through a 50 minute elevator pitch. Make it known that he vowed to never get on that “elevator” again.
6. Your elevator pitch is not a tagline. Taglines are catch phrases that are intended to highlight an overall story in a few words. An elevator pitch is the story about your business (this does not replace your business plan).
7. The best elevator pitches are built up from an analogy or kernel that creates the “a ha” moment for the person listening to your pitch.
Some of the best pitches we’ve heard were from those who were just having a casual conversation with us. A casual 30 seconds conversation. Let us know your best elevator pitch.