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Elevate Your Elevator Pitch With This 5-Step Framework You step into the elevator and find yourself alone with your dream client. The doors slide closed. You have 30 seconds. Could you intrigue them enough in those moments to make an impression that sparks interest?

By Wendy Shore Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • An effective elevator pitch should be engaging, conversational, and under 60 seconds
  • It should focus on clearly articulating the benefits and opportunities your solution provides while establishing a genuine connection with your audience

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

An elevator pitch is a brief, compelling introduction to who you are, what value you offer, and why it matters. It is often referred to as an elevator pitch because it should be short enough to be delivered within the time constraints of a single elevator ride, typically 30 to 60 seconds.

While elevator pitches are often associated with entrepreneurship and selling ideas or products, they are broadly applicable. Whether you are networking, interviewing, meeting potential clients, introducing yourself at a conference — whenever you need to impress fast — having one locked and loaded gives you an advantage.

The elevator pitch is not designed to sell your product or service but to pique the other party's interest in continuing the conversation.

Related: Avoid These 7 Mistakes When Pitching Your Business

'SHORE' framework

Originally designed for my private coaching/consulting clients, the S-H-O-R-E framework is a surefire way to craft an attention-grabbing pitch and leave a lasting impression.

Let's dive into each framework component and explore how you can use it to create a pitch that resonates with your audience and compels them to take action.

S Solution

The first step is to clearly identify the solution you provide and the benefits it offers to your target audience. Ask yourself, "What problem, challenge, or goal do I solve for my customers?" People pay attention to things that directly affect them, so it's crucial to define the specific struggle or desire you help address concisely.

Instead of focusing on the features of your product/service, emphasize the benefits and bring to life what your customer's reality looks like after engaging with you. While features and advantages may seem interchangeable, there is a key difference: a feature is an essential function of the goods or services offered, while a benefit is how that feature can improve the customer's life.

H — Help

Once you've clearly articulated the solution and benefits you provide, the next step is to specify WHO you help and how you uniquely assist them. This is where you define your target audience and ideal client avatar, ensuring your message resonates with the people who need to hear it most.

When crafting your elevator pitch for your target audience, it is essential to be as specific as possible. Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, focus on a particular niche (or market segment) most likely to benefit from your solution. By narrowing your focus, you can tailor your message to one that is more likely to resonate.

Related: Female Founder Shares Her Simple Pitch Strategy

O — OPPORTUNITY

You want to highlight the potential outcomes, possibilities, and opportunities that arise from engaging with your solution. Focus on the transformative potential of your solution. Paint a picture of what success looks like for your ideal client and how your solution can help them get there.

Go beyond simply solving a problem or addressing a challenge; instead, emphasize how your solution can open doors, create new possibilities, and help your clients achieve their goals. Create a powerful and inspiring vision of the opportunities that await, motivating your prospect to act and seize opportunities.

R — Relatability

People buy from people they know, like, and trust, and we tend to like people who are like us. Establishing relatability is crucial in creating a strong connection with your audience and building trust.

You can draw upon numerous elements of relatability, such as shared group affiliations, life stages, professions/roles, shared obstacles, random shared favorites (like you are both wearing red shirts) ... the list goes on.

Look for ways to highlight similarities and shared experiences with your prospects. People connect with and more readily trust those perceived as similar to themselves. The goal is to create a genuine connection with your audience by showcasing your shared experiences, values, and understanding of their world so you'll be better positioned to build trust and likability, ultimately inspiring them to take action.

Related: Watch Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch

E — Engage

After grabbing your audience's interest, it's crucial to explicitly state the next steps for continuing the conversation. Many people get so focused on introducing themselves or their product that they neglect to include a clear call to action (CTA), leaving potential opportunities on the table.

Your CTA should be specific and actionable and make it easy for your audience to take the next step. Consider how they can get in touch with you or how you can follow up with them. Be cautious not to offer too many options, as a confused mind may not know what to do next and wind up doing nothing. Instead, focus on providing one or two clear, direct ways for your prospect to engage with you further.

Additional tips

  • Start with a strong hook: Begin with an attention-grabbing statement or question that piques your audience's interest. This could be a unique fact, a surprising statistic, or a personal anecdote that sets you apart. For example, I will often say, "My name is Wendy Shore — it rhymes with entrepreneur!" This often elicits a chuckle and helps me stand out.
  • Make it conversational: The best pitches don't feel like pitches; they come across as natural, engaging conversations. Avoid sounding overly rehearsed or salesy by using a friendly, conversational tone. Imagine you're simply having a chat and focus on building a genuine connection.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Delivering a compelling elevator pitch takes practice. Just like a comedian perfecting their timing and delivery of a punchline, you'll want to rehearse your pitch until it feels natural and effortless. The more you practice, the more confident and polished your delivery will become.
  • Be adaptable: Listen actively and tailor your pitch to address the specific needs, challenges, or interests of the person you're speaking with. It is perfectly fine to have more than one elevator pitch in your arsenal that is tailored to an offer or to an audience.
  • Keep it concise: Remember, an elevator pitch is meant to be short and sweet. Keep your pitch under 60 seconds, focusing on the most essential information. If you've piqued your audience's interest, they'll naturally want to learn more.

By combining the SHORE pitching framework with these additional tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a memorable, engaging introduction that opens doors and leads to opportunities.

Wendy Shore

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Business Growth Expert & Trusted Advisor

Wendy Shore is a Business Growth Strategist, Advisor, Speaker and Author dedicated to helping clients establish themselves as the go-to authority in their field; guiding them to turn expertise into profitable businesses. As a LinkedIn TOP VOICE, she mentors future entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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