Crafting a great elevator pitch

What goes into a killer elevator pitch? Turns out, many of the same things that go into a great brand.

On March 3rd, I’m going to be the lead judge at an event where participants compete with their elevator pitches. Not only will this be a fun evening, but I’m certain we’ll see that we all get the same things wrong when it comes to creating a memorable pitch.

The event organizer, Pascale Hansen, had a preliminary call with me to get my thoughts on the subject for an event promotion podcast. She was kind enough to share the recording. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Elevator pitch conversation highlights

  • The most overlooked element of most brand exercises – and pitches? Starting with the perspective of your audience.
  • The power of a powerful brand vision extends far beyond persuading consumers. It can help you hire the right people for your company, and ensure everyone ‘on the bus’ has the same roadmap to success. Jim Collins’ book Good To Great is a textbook for building this into your company.
  • Why is it more important than ever to incorporate story into your presentations? It’s the only thing people actually remember – and in an age where data is prevalent, it’s the only thing that cuts through.
  • How stories get past the lizard brain, and guarantee your message will be absorbed.

Why do presentations fail? It usually comes down to false confidence, or absolute fear. Click To TweetWhy presentations fail – false confidence, or absolute fear.

  • Because we’re terrified, we feel we need to look smart – and that’s why we throw data up on our slides. But when people see nothing but data, they don’t think you’re smart – they find you dull.

“The only thing people fear more than death is public speaking. So at a funeral, the guy in the casket is probably more comfortable than the guy talking about him” Jerry Seinfeld

  • A great guide to incorporating data into your storytelling? Nancy Duarte’s Data Story.
  • The vicious cycles of failed presentations?
    1. I hate making presentations, so I’ll procrastinate.
    2. Now it’s the last minute, so I’ll just grab a deck and present.
    3. I bombed.
    4. I hate making presentations even more.
  • How to dramatically lower the level of stress? If you check out my book Your Ultimate Presentation, you’ll see proven tools like:
    1. Analog storyboarding
    2. Turning speechcraft into a team sport using collaboration and peer review
  • Ironically, one of the most detrimental things you can do in a presentation is talk too much. We talk too much when we’re afraid of being perceived as a non-expert. In truth, the less you talk, the greater the odds people will think you’re smart.
There's power in creating dialogue with your audience in your presentation. Not only does this lighten the pressure on you, but your audience feels they're co-creating the story. Click To Tweet
  • There’s a unique dynamic in a presentation – the interplay of the presenter, the audience, the room – which creates an X factor that dramatically impacts your success.

Enjoyed this podcast? Here are more stories you’ll like:

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