What makes a great “Elevator Pitch” by Guest Blogger, Jesse Bowness

Developing a Great Elevator Pitch
Guest Blogger, Jesse Bowness

“There are two pieces to business success that have been harped on a million times – now you can count 1,000,001 – the importance of a great elevator pitch and being visible in your network.

I'm a rambunctious individual that thrives on change. The traits that go along with that don't lend themselves well to accumulating experience in one industry. In my careers I've often faced the challenge of competing with individuals who have extensive experience next to newbie me. I still got the jobs. What made the difference?

Did you guess a “great elevator pitch and being visible in your network”? You nailed it.

Developing a great elevator pitch:

1. Keep your eyes on the prize – you must be crystal clear on what you want to accomplish. No one can help you, or will, until you demonstrate you know where you want to go.

2. Be a Spin Doctor – somewhere among your life experiences are valuable points that can be relative to where you're going – spin your experience to fit the situation. Be realistic, but be creative.

3. Hammer on your strengths – your strengths must be stated clearly and loudly so they're bluntly obvious. Most people you deal with will have to ‘sell' you to someone else to get a decision made. Make it easy for them.

4. KISS – Keep It Simple Simian…that means don't talk for more than 30 seconds, 15 seconds is preferable, and make your strength points very visible and memorable.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice – the hardest part. Nail it on opening night and then constantly refine it. You want to sound natural and unrehearsed; despite being nervous and over-rehearsed.

Being Visible in Your Network:

This means being around, and being available to people. Successful people use all the tools out there to stay in touch with their network, and keep the channels of communication open. Here's how the preference of channels lines up.

1. Face to face – people want to see you. Get out and share your positive vibes, goals and your stellar elevator pitch.

2. Phone – the next best thing is when you call to ‘check in’ and say hi.

3. Social Media – (twitter, fb, linkedIn) the internet is notorious for making you feel productive but producing nothing. SM Chatting is a decent tool for staying in touch but ranks a distant 3rd to face and voice contact. Use this as a tool to escalate to phone or face time.

4. Email – the generic nature of email undermines its effectiveness next to social media, but there’s still a solid role for sharing articles that you know are relevant to people in your network. Be cognizant of the low value we (all of us…!) place on email communications.

5. Text – on the one hand, valuable because you have a cell number…on the other hand, a tiny distraction that never really conveys anything meaningful.

Remember, tactful persistence will always win the day.

Email me at for input on your elevator pitch. I love writing them.

If you’re feeling ready to practice, consider joining us for the next event at The Pacific Club.

One Response to What makes a great “Elevator Pitch” by Guest Blogger, Jesse Bowness

  1. Heather May 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Great post! I love that you’ve pointed out the order to build your network and tribe. Social media and email become far more effective when your audience has at some point had a face to face connection with you and can then ‘hear’ you in your virtual communication.

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