The best thing you can do in an elevator
When people ask me what I do, this is what I say:
“We’re the university of the future. We make short, online courses with big brands who are the best in their industries using punchy stories, videos and visuals. Because we believe that learning should be fun, and that knowing a little about a lot is the only way to stay relevant in this fast paced world.”
Okay, that’s not what I say. Somehow people always seem to ask me this question just after I’ve taken a large bite of food so I wind up mumbling something like “hmm? Mm mwriter”. But the above text is what I want to say. That’s my elevator pitch.
What’s an elevator pitch?
It’s one of those startup-y terms that’s become a cliche because it makes sense - it’s what you’d say to someone important if you suddenly found yourself riding in an elevator with them.
So how would you sell yourself or your business if you knew you only had 6 floors to do so? Here are three tips from some of our favourite experts.
Do what Dave Trott says and tell a story - make your offer the solution to some problem. In my example, our offer is the solution to the problem “How should I educate myself in this fast-paced, modern world?”
Do what Simon Sinek says and tell them why you do what you do. Tell them what you believe and how you’re pursuing that.
Do what Kelly Johnson from Lockheed’s skunk works says and keep it simple, stupid. This is not the time for bullet points and details, it’s the time to pique someone’s interest with two or three sentences that broadly capture what you do.
The elevator analogy helps you create a pitch that works in under 30 seconds and under pressure, but the real power of it is, of course, that you can use it anywhere - not just elevators.
It’s about preparing yourself for those moments, instead of floundering, when someone says “tell me about yourself”. Because opportunity doesn’t do house calls. You have to go out and get it yourself.
If you like this, look out for more in our upcoming course, Intrapreneurship.