Going up? How to master the elevator pitch

The Elevator Pitch could be one of the most important statements you need to make in order to get your winning idea across. An elevator pitch is a short description of a concept for an item you want to sell, a company idea you want to start up or any other project. You then pitch this to those interested in your concept. The idea is to provide a description that is quick, concise and to the point. You don't want to put potential investors off with your life story however interesting it may be!

The team at fivesquid share their top tips on how to master the elevator pitch

Although you should develop your elevator pitch in a way that suits your style and the type of concept you are trying to sell, here are some key pointers worth following to help deliver a pitch that hits the mark.

1. The problem. There are some things your pitch must include. For example, you need to make it clear why your idea is a necessary. What problem will it solve, why should someone invest?

2. The solution. You have provided your listeners with a hole, how are you going to fill it? This is the next job. Explain how your highlighted issue can be solved with your proposed idea. Remember, keep both the description of the problem and the solution as to-the-point as you can. You should be able to clearly deliver all of this in just a few sentences. Keep on track and don't go off on any tangents. You only have a short time so use it wisely!

3. How you say it. It is not just what you say, but how you say it! Your language should be persuasive, making your words hold clout. If you talk half-heartedly, how are you going to convince anyone else to take note?

4. Speed control. Control your speaking speed. Yes, you do only have a short slot to say your piece, but don't talk too fast; it won't come across well and your listeners may miss key moments.

5. The right tone. Sometimes we can become so focused on getting our words out that we don't adjust to the right tone, and use the correct phrasing. With this in mind, avoid adopting a monotone. You need to show passion in your speech! Adapt your language to suit your potential collaborators.

6. Think about your face! No, we don't mean you have to change your face for the purpose of your elevator pitch, that is more than a bit extreme. As you speak, make sure you are not frowning. Express with your mouth, smiling at the right times, being serious at other times, but avoid frowning and definitely don't look bored. If you look bored, what hope is there for those viewing your pitch?! Just keep it informative, friendly and engaging through both your words and your facial expressions.

7. Move! There is a danger that if you are standing perfectly still, with the only thing moving being your mouth, your speech may come out stilted and one-toned. This is not attractive for the listener and a surefire way to get them disinterested. It can be a good idea to pace about a bit if you have space, or at least animate yourself by talking with your hands. You need to show life in your performance, and arms by your side, standing perfectly still rarely emits that.

8. Flow. All of the above needs to be performed as a short presentation, with each segment following the next one smoothly. You won't want to have long pauses between each spoken paragraph, as you can seriously lose momentum, and the interest of your audience.

9. Practise! You know it - practise makes perfect. But, in fairness, the more you practise before the big day, the more you can hone your presentation to reach a high standard, keeping in the bits that work, and getting rid of the bits that don't. You can practise how you speak it, and the delivery of key points so that they pack the desired punch. Just be careful not to fall into a trap of overdoing the practise and making everything sound monotone as you remember your speech word for word. You still want it to sound natural on the day, so that it sounds as though you are telling it for the first time. So practise, but avoid making your pitch sound over-rehearsed and robotic.

Hopefully, you have picked up some tips on the elevator pitch and are inspired to get started. Don't forget, if you're not a wordsmith you needn't worry, there are plenty of writers here on fivesquid who can take care of the writing, giving you more time to practise your presentation in front of the mirror!

Going up?