Although chances are you won't be chatting up someone in an actual elevator, it helps to imagine that you are in order to make your speech short, snappy, and exciting.
Crafting the speech doesn't have to be an agonizing process. Simply consider what makes your company, product, or service stand out from the competition - something that should come readily to mind. You can use this idea as a jumping-off point for explaining what your company does.
The pitch you develop should be current and include your company's most recent information, goals, and services -you'll need to keep it as up-to-date as possible.
As in all speechwriting, however, you'll need to consider your audience as well. This will require you to change your pitch periodically to match current trends in your industry - whether you need to use different language, choose a different aspect to highlight, or try a different approach altogether.
Also, remember that while you know why your organization is special, you need to give your audience something to get excited about.
Of course, this approach could change from person to person. While a general explanation of your services might suit many of the decision-makers you'll be talking with, you could come across a potential client that wants a blow-by-blow breakdown of the benefits you can provide their company on the spot.
Be aware that different people will have different questions regarding your pitch. In order to prepare for these questions, it may help to imagine that you are answering a question during a debate. You know the other side could lob an informed rebuttal at your pitch, so you should anticipate hardball responses from your audience.
Although a one-size-fits-all approach to your elevator pitch won't work, there are still some simple rules to follow, the most obvious of which is to keep it short. In doing so, you'll want to avoid listing gobs of technical information, especially if you're talking to someone who may not be well-versed in your industry's jargon.
The idea is to make your ideas as relatable and compelling as possible on the first listen.
You may want to ask a few of your friends to listen to you as you practice your pitch. They're likely to know where you work and what position you hold, but they probably don't know about the big-picture ideas behind your brand, making them an excellent test audience. Assuming they give you honest feedback about your pitch, you'll be able to find areas to tweak for clarity and brevity. They may even ask some questions that you hadn't considered before, which can help you strengthen your argument.
Plus, delivering your speech to a smaller, relatively nonjudgmental crowd can help ease you into flawlessly delivering a pitch when you're under more scrutiny.
No matter how you approach crafting your elevator pitch, it's important to remember that it will take some work and likely won't be delivered as smoothly as possible on the first shot.
You may have a question you didn't anticipate or stumble over your words, but if you've thoroughly prepared, you can recover, soldier on, and possibly land that big client.