This week I welcome Chris Westfall to the Wednesday Edition of Talk Business With Howard on Blog Talk Radio. Chris is the author of the book, The New Elevator Pitch: The Definitive Guide To Persuasive Communication In The Digital Age. To listen to the live broadcast of the interview with Chris on Wednesday, April 24 at 11 AM/Eastern Time, click here. Or bookmark this page to listen to the show replay which will be posted at the top of the page. Thank you, Chris, for the guest blog post and for being a guest on the radio show. – Howard –
The NEW Elevator Pitch Demands CLARITY by Chris Westfall
You may have heard strategies in the past, for taking a prosperous elevator ride. But today, the elevator platform has been replaced with the social platform. And, if you’re still delivering yesterday’s strategy when it comes time to tell your story, you’ll never be heard above the noise.
The NEW Elevator Pitch isn’t really a “pitch” at all – it’s a conversation. A persuasive and concise conversation that inspires action, for an important audience. Traditionally, the elevator pitch is a way to introduce a person, product or idea in two minutes or less. But the way that we communicate has changed. Maybe it’s time to change your story as well – or at least the way you tell it.
You see, the story you tell will teach people how to buy from you, how to reward your effort, how to promote you and how to invest in your ideas. Whether you tweet it or tell it, you have to have a story that’s concise and clear – otherwise, it’s lost in the noise.
The best elevator pitch you (or anyone else) can possibly deliver will focus on the most important person in the room (your listener). The best elevator speech will have the following three characteristics:
- Authentic –Being authentic means speaking from the heart in a way that registers as true, honest and sincere.
Because the most captivating thing you can say is what you believe.
Finding your truth, and expressing it, is a central theme of the NEW Elevator Pitch. When you are at your most authentic, you are connected with your subject matter. You speak in a way that is your most natural and confident, avoiding the common speaker contortions that will keep your listener focused …on your fidgeting.
It’s easy to come up with goofy one-liners, followed by a memorized list of features and benefits, but that’s yesterday’s news (or maybe, yesterday’s mistakes. Those mistakes are best left in the past.) If you think the best way to start your elevator pitch is with you name, rank and serial number, you’re making a mistake. Follow that misstep with a feature-dump, and you’ve let your listener know that you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s time to stop pitching, and start connecting. Those real connections start with authentic communication.
Discussing your true convictions, in a way that seems unrehearsed and confident at the same time: THAT’S authenticity.
- Compelling –Meaningful change is only meaningful if your message is compelling. Your words, your actions and your gestures can mean the difference between a mess, and “YES!”
Nobody wants to give a pitch, just so that others can remain indifferent. There’s enough noise online already. Make up your mind to create something that inspires. The NEW Elevator Pitch is about influence. This message delivers a call to action. Are you clear about what you want, what you can deliver, and what you want your listener to do when you’re done? Considering what you want others to do or say next is the key to developing your strongest possible elevator pitch. Aligning your capabilities with a compelling message is the power behind your communication.
- “Tell Me More…” Judge the quality of your elevator pitch not by the quality of your diction, or your gestures, but on what people do when you are done. Focus your attention on what’s most important: connecting with your audience.
When someone says, “Tell Me More…” that means that they are interested. It means that they clicked through to your blog. They read the report you referenced and watched that video; now it’s time to provide your insight, in person. It’s time for “Tell Me More…” Find out what your listener wants to know more about, and you have started the dialogue that is the foundation of the social space. Remember, no tweet or Facebook status tells your whole story. Neither does your elevator pitch. But it should be told in such a way that your listener takes the next logical step – moving from indifference, to action, by way of curiosity.
Authentic. Compelling. Tell me more . . . These building blocks are the foundation of CLARITY. Clarity is the seven-step acronym, outlined in The NEW Elevator Pitch. Find out how to Captivate, use the Language of leadership, speak with Authenticity, Relevance and Tact, on your way to “YES!” That’s the map – and the destination – you will find in The NEW Elevator Pitch (http://bit.ly/thenewelevatorpitch)
Chris Westfall is the national elevator pitch champion, and the author of The NEW Elevator Pitch. He has appeared on CNN, ABC-NEWS, NBC-TV, and in The New York Post. He’s coached clients on Dragon’s Den, and helped secure multi-million dollar revenues and investments for a variety of organizations. Serving as a coach and consultant, he’s worked with Cisco, RE/MAX, Unilever, HP, and dozens of other Fortune 1000 companies. An award-winning MBA instructor at a top-20 business school, he is widely recognized as an expert on marketing, branding and leadership – with an international coaching clientele. His keynote, Secrets of the NEW Elevator Pitch, helps companies to create a story that’s captivating and concise – leading to new revenues, new partnerships, and new investments.