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What’s an elevator pitch?

By Claudia Dans | 18 July 2018

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The average time it takes an elevator from the moment its doors close to the moment they reopen takes about 30 seconds on average. What if instead of chitchatting you used those seconds to convey the main idea of your startup? This is the mission of the elevator pitch: a method to transmit the idea of the project, attract the investor and convince him in just 30 seconds.

Many entrepreneurs are familiar with the term because there is an elevator pitch at every meeting of entrepreneurs, such as South Summit, in accelerators, award announcements and, in short, in all the steps that guide the growth of their project. But, despite their popularity, few entrepreneurs know how to set up an elevator pitch to leave investors speechless - what are the keys to getting their attention and interest?

The most important thing is to be clear about what you want to say and be concise, because the investors you are going to face hear this kind of speeches many times a day and you need to differentiate yourself from the rest, not only because of a good idea, but also because of the way you represent it. Always remember that in an elevator pitch, the “how” sometimes influences more than the “what”.

The speech must be brief, complete and answer a series of basic questions: who you are, what problem exists, what solution does your startup offer, who is your target audience, what is your market. Once the basis of the project has been laid out, explain what your business model and strategy are, how you are going to earn money and make a profit and what sets you apart from the rest. After all, the objective of the speech for the entrepreneur is to achieve an economic boost and for the investor to find a project that provides benefits.

Once your speech is ready, it is very important to rehearse it as many times as necessary, to adjust it to the right time, and to present it as naturally as possible. It avoids robotic speeches full of figures and technicalities because they blur the interest of listeners. A good trick to train conciseness and brevity is the 3-1-3 method: express the idea first in three sentences, then in one and finally in just 3 words.

After understanding the essential keys, all you need to do is to repeat it over and over until you will be able to catch the interest of an investor without hesitation.