Elevator Pitch Tips

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A few quick tips on how to make an effective Elevator Pitch presentation for a business school / business plan competition

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  • Introductions - Name - What you do - Why are you taking HTC Orientation What is business accelerator? -Form of Economic Development Center -Accelerate small technology company through commercialization process - HTC is largest biz accelerator in Texas (top 10 in nation) Why we do this and how we do it is the base of this orientation.
  • You have about 90 seconds to get about 10 points made – consider each point a ‘floor’ on your elevator ride
  •  WHO ? - who you are and what you are passionate about  WHAT ? - what is the problem that you are trying to solve HOW ? - how do you propose to fix the problem (your technology)  BETTER ? – what makes your solution better than the status quo (faster, cheaper, more efficient, etc.)  SO WHAT ? - what’s in it for me? Why should I care?  WHAT NOW ? - what do you need now to make your dream possible  WISHING ? - What’s the end goal? What’s your ultimate wish?  WHAT NEXT ? - How can I get involved? What do you want from me?  WOW ! - I want to tell every one I know about this amazing pitch!
  • Rehearse, don't practice. This is a live performance so you have to prepare for the moment. You should not memorize your pitch. Memorized pitches tend to be void of emotion and excitement – which are necessary in an effective elevator pitch. You should know it by heart - that is to say you need to be able to convey the general idea in as few words as possible.   Don’t forget the consonants , especially at the end of words.   Give your pitch standing in front of a mirror at least five times from beginning to end until you are comfortable with the rhythm and flow of your story.   Battle Conditions. Ideally, practice your talk under conditions similar to those in which you will give it. Consider factors such as acoustics, distance from the audience, lighting and room size. Be mentally prepared to adapt to the environmental conditions.
  • Avoid J.A.S Avoid jargon,, acronyms , slang but don't be so formal that you're afraid to speak in contractions or straightforward, simple terms. Use visual language, concrete nouns, and active single-word verbs.   Minimize words but be clear so all “get it” – or get what you are doing or offering: Spouse, Grandparents, parents, kids and grandkids. An effective elevator pitch stays at a fairly high level and does not go into too much unnecessary detail. Yet it should be specific and tangible. Imagine you are being charged cash for each word you say – this will certainly help you pick the best ones and leave the rest out. Visual performance, not written – don’t fall into the trap of writing every thought on your slide – less is more. Maximum 3 written points, no more than 5 words each at least 30 point font. Since you create the presentation sitting at your desk in front of a computer, it’s hard to make the transition to performing in front of an audience without an ‘undo’ function.   Do and say things that make you and your idea stand out so the desired action of the listener is realized. Your listeners will have likely heard many other pitches. Yours must be different to cause the desired effect you seek.  
  • You want them to like you, to believe in you and to want to support you – so look at them and convey your wishes. Maintain eye contact with at least a few people-especially those who are being the most responsive--in various parts of the room. Conversely, if you're especially nervous about one or two audience members or you note some audience members looking sour or uninterested, avoid eye contact with them.   Dead air is much better than UMS air filled with repeated "ums," "likes," and "you knows." Get to know your personal dead air fillers and eliminate them. On Stage A high percentage of your audience's perception is not about what you say but about how you look and act when you say it.
  • Elevator Pitches are like first dates - ultimately, your main goal should be getting another chance to impress. Like any first date, you want to highlight the key selling points and minimize the negatives.
  • Elevator Pitch Tips

    1. 1. Marc Nathan Director of Entrepreneur Development, Information Technology Sector Elevator Pitch Tips Marc Nathan
    2. 2. Elevator Pitch Book Ends   Who are you ? What do you want ?
    3. 3.          
    4. 4.  WHO ?  WHAT ?  HOW ?  BETTER ?  SO WHAT ?  WHAT NOW ?  WISHING ?  WHAT NEXT ?  WOW ! ? $ ! 
    5. 5. Rehearse, don't practice. Stand in front of a mirror Video yourself Duplicate battle conditions
    6. 6. Avoid J.A.S. Minimize number of words Visual performance, not written Make you and your idea stand out
    7. 7. Watch your body language Use physical gestures sparingly Minimize the amount of walking Make the focus you, not your props
    8. 8. Maintain eye contact Dead air is better than “Um’s” Don’t read a script Finish early if you can
    9. 9. SELL, DON’T TELL

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