3 Basic Steps to Improve Your Elevator Pitch

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By Alyce Blum, Professional Networking Coach

When was the last time you shared your elevator pitch and walked away feeling empowered and perhaps even inspired by what you said? If the answer is, “I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way,” don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people haven’t spent much, if any, time preparing an elevator pitch that wows their audience or themselves. And that’s because most of us haven’t taken the time to incorporate one simple, yet highly powerful question that will take your generic pitch and turn it into something unique, meaningful and lasting. WHY do you do what you do?

Simon Sivek’s Ted Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, suggests that the most inspiring companies and leaders all have one thing in common: they focus on WHY they do what they do rather than focusing on what they do or what they are looking to sell. This small, yet indisputable difference is what has made Apple more successful than any other computer company and why Dr. Martin Luther King was able to bring 200,000 people together at the March on Washington without sending out a single invitation.

Sharing the “why” behind your work, the cause, belief or purpose immediately connects to the limbic part of our brains that builds trust, loyalty and behavioral change and Mr. Sivek calls this concept the golden circle. When you utilize the golden circle concept within your elevator pitch, you’ll immediately draw people in and spark a connection that is far deeper than simply rattling off some tired and uninspiring version of your company’s product or service.

Here are 3 basic steps to help transform your elevator pitch into a conversation that will inspire and generate leads:


  1. First, take a few minutes to think about WHY you do what you do. As Sivek says, “Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?” What drives you to do the work you do and what are the causes and beliefs that have helped shape you to do this kind of work? Write these ideas down on paper or make note of them in your phone.  Also, get clear on HOW you’re product/service is different or perhaps better than your competition and WHAT it is that you do or sell.
  2. Next, create a draft elevator pitch, starting with your “why”. Feel free to read one of my elevator pitches on my website, www.alyceblum.com and use it as a template.
  3. Lastly, PRACTICE out loud and get feedback. You’re going to have to practice A LOT. Since most people have never shared their “why” before it will probably feel a little awkward or uncomfortable at first, but, with time, talking about your passion becomes second nature. Ask close friends or family members for feedback and you’ll know what parts you need to tweak so that you can use your pitch for different audiences and walk away from any conversation feeling empowered.

I believe that when people build strong connections they result in more opportunities both in their career and in their personal life. I’d love to hear how incorporating the “why” into your elevator pitch has changed your interactions with colleagues, friends and new acquaintances. Feel free to share them on your LinkedIn accounts and tag them with #inspired5280 so we can all be inspired by your work.

Alyce Blum is a professional networking coach. She works with people in various ways, whether it’s 1:1, in small groups, in a facilitated workshop or as a speaker.  She loves to ask “why do you do what you do?” and inspires her clients into action every day. Connect with Alyce at www.alyceblum.com and follow her on facebook, instagram and twitter with: #inspired5280.

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