May 29, 2015 11:33 am

Every inventor has dreams of pitching their product to companies or potential investors. If you have watched Shark Tank, you may have seen some incredible, attention-grabbing, exciting pitches, as well as some others that fell flat. Elevator pitches are a bit different than pitching to the pros; an elevator pitch is usually spontaneous and more personal than a formal pitch. While a formal pitch is typically scheduled and in front of a group of people, an elevator pitch usually happens during a networking event, another professional occasion, such as a golf outing, or even in an elevator. Although pitching may be more of an art than a science, there are some essential elements to include in any good elevator pitch.

Hook

To initially grab your audience’s attention, you need to start with a great hook. A compelling starting statement engages listeners so they will stay alert throughout your pitch. Examples of hooks include personal anecdotes, interesting facts or statistics, questions, or famous quotes. Your hook should give a little insight into what you’re discussing, but keep them wanting for more information. The key here is to sound natural. If you can’t memorize the anecdote, quote, or statistics you are about to use, it may be best to pick a different strategy. It will be obvious how passionate you are about your invention during the hook of your pitch, so don’t’ be afraid to be excited and animated.

Value Statements

Now is the time to delve into the meat of your pitch. Describe the problem at hand and how your invention can be used to find a solution. An effective strategy is to provide a specific problem and how your invention could solve it. If you can relate the problem and solution to either the setting you are currently in or the profession or hobbies of the person you are talking to, it may be easier to illustrate how your product can be used. Avoid exaggerated, overused words and phrases such as “life-changing,” and “revolutionary.” Instead, opt for words which accurately describe your product.

Statistics or Data

Numbers may be necessary to back up what you said in your value statements. Use quantitative data to prove your invention does what you claim. The combination of the value statements and the statistics to back them up will be more meaningful and solid than each piece separately. Instead of rattling off a bunch of numbers, try to stick to one or two statistics so the person you’re talking to can quickly and easily comprehend the impact of the data.

Uniqueness

Many inventions are an improvement or modification of something currently available on the market. To differentiate your invention from available products, mention reasons why your product stands apart from the competition. This may include differences in function, materials, size, durability, or intended consumer, just to name a few. A few short statements about the uniqueness of your product will help separate your product from similar products in the other person’s mind.

Call to Action

The call to action is one of the most frequently overlooked parts of the elevator pitch. Differing from a professional pitch, an elevator pitch call to action is going to be much more subtle. You will not be imploring someone to invest in your product after just meeting them, so adjust your call to action for the situation. An appropriate call to action in this instance would be handing out a business card, saying a polite “nice to meet you,” and asking the person to email you if they have any questions about your invention. A simple, eloquent closing leaves you looking polished and encourages the other person to contact you.

Throughout your elevator pitch, it is essential for you to sound excited and personable. Although you may have your pitch memorized, make sure that you do not sound robotic as you recite it. Adapting your elevator pitch ever so slightly to each situation will help you to come across as genuine. By including a hook, value statements, statistics, individuality statements, and a call to action, you can pitch your invention with ease and finesse.

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