7 things that kill your elevator pitches (and knowing these things could change your marketing success too!)
Because people often seem to forget that EVERYTHING is your brand, everything. The way you speak, your outfit, your hair, your mannerisms, your professionalism, EVERYTHING can impact on your sales and marketing and ultimately your business success.
Because having worked with clients for years and studied the micro expressions people make, people give away how they are really feeling about you and what you say. And countless studies have shown that the way we behave, what we say and do can impact on even someone’s ability to remember our face. So, these 7 killers to your success, could be resonating through your business in more than one way. Let’s get rid of them for you;
- Telling us you hadn’t prepared anything. As a business owner you must be able to at any moment to say “what do you do?” Do you remember we set a challenge on the Insiders to ask you to write a short paragraph explaining what do you do. This was because we were talking about the need to understand a powerful reply to that question. This also enables you to understand if you are getting your marketing right. I.e., if they don’t ask you a follow up question or ask for your card, you can start to think “What did I do wrong?” Knowing what to say is imperative as a business owner so practice to hone that skill.
- Trying to say too much. It is usually only 60 seconds. So, if you think there is time to talk about your new course, your next event and your special offer, think again. Firstly your audience are listening to lots of people and if you say too much it won’t be remembered anyway. It is better to say one point effectively and succinctly rather than 3 or 4 points haphazardly and risk overloading people’s mind. A clear easy to remember message will…get remembered! This leads us nicely onto a pet hate of mine and so many who network (how do I know? They tell me all the time!)
- Going over your allotted time. It is a forgivable mistake if you have not attended that event before to not know how long you are allowed to speak for, so first time is fine, however when you know its 30 seconds, 2 minutes or 1 minute, you need to hone the art of sticking to it. I know because I get so many people saying things like “Cor, they went on a bit didn’t they?” To which I always remain professional and say something like “We all have to learn the skill of the elevator pitch don’t we?” (See protecting my own professionalism and reputation? As my Mother taught me, if you can’t say nothing nice, then don’t say anything at all – yes I know Thumper said it first!) Practice will help you get this right. Remember you want the audience on your side and monopolising their time and overstaying your welcome on stage is sure fire way to lose them!
- Lack of eye contact. People seem to forget (or are too busy worrying about what to say!) that although you are speaking to many the same rules apply as if you were in a 1 to 1 scenario. People want to feel like you are caring about them. And in an audience that is still true. Not looking for someone can be as bad as looking at someone in the audience for too long. Trial what works for you. Do you look from one side of the room to the other or do you pick out faces on alternate sides of the room? Just remember a lack of eye contact can make you look shifty; “Why won’t they look at me, what’ve they got to hide?” happens in people’s minds on a subconscious level.
- No smiles. If you want your audience to enjoy what you are talking about, be it quantum physics, accounting, algorithms or make up you need to make your audience feel special and the quickest way to that is a smile. Studies show that when we are smiled at it physically can change our brains chemistry! This is powerful stuff and if you remember the rule of “Know me, Like me, Trust me, Buy from me” Then you know that you want people to like you and if you make someone feel good what impact could that have. It’s a simple act, however even a forced smile beats no smile. (It’s good for your public speaking nerves too!)
- Saying sorry. I find it surprising that the career path people have chosen is one that people can be ashamed to talk about. I can’t stand excel spread sheets however I love the fact that my accountant can get excited about my tax return. If you have passion for your subject matter so will your audience. You can make anything sound exciting (Go on challenge me to talk about something dull or boring at a BWN event and I will liven it up!) and then your audience will love it too. Starting with “sorry no one likes talking about insurance, death, divorce, etc” tells your audience “Hey guys, turn your brain off and don’t listen to me, I’m going to be boring” Your passion for what you do has to come across and in 60 seconds there is not time for unnecessary apologies.
- Reading from paper. There is only one time when it is appropriate to read from paper or a phone in an elevator pitch and that is if you are reciting a review or endorsement and to be honest even then you only have 60 seconds so you could learn it. That way you aren’t losing eye contact or impacting on the way your audience feels by showing the top of your head instead of your smile and eyes. Reading from paper also creates a physical between you and your audience and you will note apart from politicians few people choose to create visual obstacles with things like lecterns.
So I hope this helps to reinforce the other areas we look at in The Insiders. If you need more don’t forget there is my “Super Charge your 60 seconds success” course. It includes how to create a minimum of 5 powerful elevator pitches and how to utilise that knowledge effectively in your marketing strategy so you don’t have to create additional content. It is only £14 and if you are an Insider of course I’m more than happy to answer your questions as you go. It’s a learn at your pace course that you can access for life. And of course it’s only £14 so the knowledge you learn could pay for itself in 60 seconds!