If you want to raise capital from angel investors or venture capitalists for your startup, you want to ensure you have a solid elevator pitch to achieve your goals. An elevator pitch is a short description or professional introduction of your startup. It is essential in the process of fundraising. A compelling elevator pitch can help you start conversations with prospective investors and can convince them to want to learn more about your company.
Any good elevator pitch is only going to be around 30 seconds to one minute long. That doesn't seem like a long time to really develop a good overview of your company, right? An elevator pitch is more designed to capture attention and capture it fast to bridge the gap to the next step in pitching to investors. It's critical to have the right information included, so you want to be sure to take the time to perfect and practice your elevator pitch.
This article is dedicated to helping you understand what you should have in your elevator pitch and how to perfect it to ensure it's memorable and captivating. Plus, we included some tips on how to draft it up efficiently to get your thoughts in order. Who you give your elevator pitch to may be the perfect fit for your company or knows someone who is, so you want to be sure to nail it on the first try.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
In more detail, an elevator pitch is a quick description of your startup, your products, the problem it solves, and the benefits. The goal is not to sell your idea to an investor during this elevator pitch but to help secure a second, more detailed meeting to go over data, research, and reasons why investors should be interested in your company.
Your elevator pitch is perfected to use at any networking event or when you meet new investors or founders who can connect you with investors. You can use your elevator pitch at seminars, professional association programs, and really any gathering to share your startup's mission with anyone who could be a valuable connection or contributor to helping your startup grow.
8 Hacks to Refine and Perfect Your Startup Elevator Pitch
With such a short amount of time to introduce yourself and your company, how do you prepare an effective elevator speech to show your value? Here's how to create an elevator pitch with purpose, flow, and a hook to help capture the attention of investors.
1. Become the expert on your products or services – Of course, you are going to know your startup the best, but bring in research beyond what you offer. Dig into the details of the benefits of what your startup offers, look at the competition, research the market, and learn every detail you can before you begin pitching to investors. The more you know, the more you will be able to confidently answer any follow-up questions.
2. Start with a quick introduction – Before jumping into your elevator pitch, you need to introduce yourself. Jumping right into the information about your startup can be confusing to investors. Start the conversation off on the right foot by writing out a sentence or two about who you are and your role at your startup.
3. Introduce your startup and its mission – After introducing yourself and your position, introduce your company. Have a short one or two sentences to say about what you hope to achieve by getting your product or service on the market and who it will benefit. While you can certainly draft and perfect a sentence on the about of your company and memorize it, you want to be flexible. Understanding the ins and outs of your mission, goals, and values can help you tailor your elevator speech to whomever you are pitching to at the moment. For example, if you have an investor who values customer relationships, throw in a little about your goals for your company in building strong relationships.
4. Describe how your company stands out among the competition – There actually may be a lot of factors that make your startup stand out, but you want to keep it brief. Describe the value you will be able to bring to your customers and a feature or two that makes your startup different.
5. Share information about you and your team's background – Although you've introduced yourself briefly before you began, you want to take an opportunity to expand on your experience. Go into the team's background or successes that you and your team have accomplished. It's a chance to highlight a few accomplishments that may show investors you have the potential and drive to do great things.
6. Practice, practice, practice – This step cannot be stressed enough. Perfecting your elevator pitch requires you to practice the speech to ensure it flows naturally, has all the right information, and is designed to resonate with investors. You can also practice ensuring you don't end up rambling on and losing focus. Practice in front of the mirror or ask colleagues, friends, or families to provide feedback as you practice your elevator pitch to them. Never take it personal and move forward and refine your elevator pitch from there.
7. Don't speak too fast – Yes, you only have a short minute to convey a lot of compelling information, but you don't want to speak too fast. Talking too fast makes it difficult for investors to understand and absorb the information you relay to them. You want to ensure you speak naturally, as if speaking with a friend. Keep the tone relaxed, confident, and friendly and avoid sounding like you've rehearsed this elevator pitch a dozen times (even though you probably have).
8. End with a call to action – The whole point of your elevator pitch is to motivate investors to want to learn more and set up a second meeting to hear more details. If you are hoping to set up a meeting, simply ask if they have any questions or if they want to move forward with learning more about your startup.
Tips to Draft and Write Out Your Elevator Pitch
Understanding what goes into an ideal elevator pitch and how to perfect it is one thing, but you have to start drafting up your elevator pitch to begin the process of perfecting it. Here are some tips to get you started.
Draft an Outline – Once you know what makes up a great elevator pitch, write out your outline. Organize your thoughts and information by writing it out. Don't worry too much about the length or if you're including too much. The point is to include as much information about your startup that is important to you and then work from there.
Start Writing Out a Script – Once you have the outline, start writing it out as if you were having a conversation with someone. Write out a few calls to action or action statements to see if there are any that are a better fit.
Begin the Editing Process – Highlight any aspects of your elevator pitch that you think are the most vital to keep and start creating a powerful, cohesive speech. Take the best of what you have included and refine it into a cohesive narrative.
Read it Out Loud – Reading out loud can be a great way to learn how it sounds and give you a sense of how it flows. Once you've read it out loud, you can begin to refine your elevator pitch and edit again. This is a vital step in ensuring the elevator pitch sounds natural and not robotic.
Practice – Practicing in front of a mirror or recording it and playing it back can help you improve your overall delivery. You can ensure you aren't speeding through it or sounding monotone and unpassionate. Make sure you are clear and straight to the point, and you don't go over a minute and keep on practicing until you can recite it by heart naturally without hesitation.
Continue to Improve – As you are actively using your elevator pitch, continue to improve on it as you receive feedback from the investors and connections who hear it.
Capture the attention of your investors with a captivating elevator speech to help you secure those secondary meetings vital to funding your startup. Draft a short 30-second to one-minute speech, practice, refine, and practice some more. Strike up natural conversations, remain confident and passionate, and the right investors will be able to see the value of your startup and want to move on to the next steps.
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