While preparing for a class on giving the perfect pitch, I read two books: The New Elevator Pitch by Chris Westfall and No Sweat Elevator Speech by Fred E. Miller. Both authors are considered experts in the field: Westfall is a National Elevator Pitch Champion and Miller is an international coach and public speaking expert. Each author has a formula for creating the perfect elevator pitch.
Westfall uses CLARITY to craft a great pitch:
Captivate: gain the attention of your audience
Language of Leadership: present yourself as an expert on your subject
Authenticity: you have to connect with you
Relevance: make what matters to you matter to others
Inspiration: show positive change
Tactfulness: say the right thing at the right time
Yes (Next Steps): find agreement with your audience
Miller takes a different, floor-based approach (as you are moving up the elevator)
Floor 1: Describe who you are
Floor 2: Describe what you do
Floor 3: Describe your expertise or experience
Floor 4: Why Hire Me?
Floor 5: Your Why (why do you do what you do?)
Floor 6: More Why People Hire Me
Floor 7: I Deliver
Floor 8: Ask!
Although the two authors have different methods, both stress practice, confidence, and supplementing your elevator pitch with networking. Follow either approach or a combination of these plans and you will see your elevator going all the way to the top!
The CDO staff actively reads a wide range of professional development material, and we look forward to sharing the bits of wisdom we find with you, our dedicated readers, through The Good Reads blog series.