The art of the elevator pitch

First time creating an elevator pitch? Yes, it can be daunting. What to include, how to present myself, what should I say... 

Here's a quick workshop from Yossi Apfelbaum of Ajax Union. He covers the why and how of crafting an elevator pitch.

Below the video you will find a useful worksheet you can use to help write your elevator pitch script.

How to Craft the Perfect Elevator Pitch:

Download this worksheet here.

A great elevator pitch is not impossible to craft, but neither should it be invented “on the spot.” As with all things that matter in life: you need to put a little effort into it. Don’t let your “ums” and “ahs” get in the way of raising millions of dollars for your next deal.

A great elevator pitch should contain 6 elements:

1) A Great Hook – Get them interested right away or lose them altogether.

2) Your Company Name – Or are you just running this out of your mom’s garage?

3) Your Goals -What is it you are trying to accomplish?

4) Why YOU Matter – Go ahead.. brag a little. Why are you different from the rest?

5) What’s In It For Them – People are selfish… give them what they want.

6) A Call to Action – Steps 1-5 make no difference if you don’t give them the opportunity to respond!

Although you can mix around the order some, I find it best to try to tell a story with your pitch by going step one through step six.

The following worksheet is designed to help you draft your elevator pitch so you can best be prepared to talk with potential private lenders about your business. Keep in mind – there are hundreds of ways to craft an elevator pitch, and this is just one that works for me. Feel free to test and tweak it, but the important thing is: just do it.

Feel free to download and print this page and let it help you work on YOUR elevator pitch so the next time someone asks you “So, what do you do?” you’ll be prepared to fire with both barrels.

1) Do you have any interesting, cool, or unique facts about your company? If not, consider starting with a question to pique their interest. It’s important to “hook” the listener immediately, so in 25 words or less, write your “hook”:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

2) What is your company name? _______________________________________

3) Describe in 25 words or less what the goal of your company is: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4) Describe in 20 words or less what makes you especially good at this.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

5) Finally, end with a question that opens up further discussion without blatantly asking them for money. I like “Do you know anyone that would be interested in working together doing real estate deals like this?”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, put it all together and see how it sounds. You may need to tweak some parts to make it flow, but now you have the basic framework. Next, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this take longer than 60 seconds to say? If yes, trim it down.
  • Do I come across sounding too salesy/sleazy/spammy? If yes, tone it down.
  • Will a person know exactly what’s in it for them? Remember – people are selfish and primarily want to know what your business can do for them. If not, keep working on it!

Finally, practice your pitch in front of the mirror, in front of your spouse, or in front of whoever will give you honest feedback. Ask for feedback and tweak your pitch if needed.

Good luck!

Here is a quick tutorial on how to shoot your video