By Elle ZimmermanDid you know that the average person has an attention span of 7 seconds? And have you ever heard the saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression?” Whether we like to admit it or not, these statements are true. So how do you hit all the right notes in your first impression and stand out from the background noise? As entrepreneurs, we constantly give our pitch—a concise explanation of what we do with the intent to grasp that short attention span and make a strong first impression. I am sure you have heard the term, “elevator speech” or “elevator pitch.” It is the presentation that you share in the time span that it takes for the elevator door to close and then re-open on its floor of destination. A couple years ago, I had the incredible pleasure of spending an evening with a group of women at Aviatra Accelerators (then Bad Girl Ventures!) who are ready to change the world with their start-up businesses. My job was to share my experience as an actress and empower them with skills for delivering the perfect pitch. (By the way, I am totally passionate about bold, entrepreneurial women!) I taught them how to develop strong stage presence; the importance of their body, voice, and eyes in communication with others; and how understanding the “why” of what they are doing creates passion that is contagious. Here are the tips I shared with them for creating a perfect pitch:
- Capture their Attention. Open with a question, tell a quick story, or share an attention-grabbing statement to pique your listeners’ interest. This should be about 15 seconds long to make them want to know more.
- Clearly Explain. Keep it short and simple. Share about 1-2 sentences explaining what you do, the benefits of your work, and how you do it.
- Close Well. A good pitch is a conversation in collaboration with your audience, so know your audience and close with an actionable step for them to take.