THE ART OF THE ELEVATOR PITCH
LONDON TECHNOLOGY WEEK 20TH TO 27TH JUNE
This week is London Technology Week. (Last week was London Rain Week).
The video content agency I work for has good background in this sector :
- We’ve been working with London’s Tech City on video content since 2014 http://www.kleinandsons.tv/tech-city.
- We’ve seen one tech client use a video thoughtpiece as the background to a global success story and recent AIM listing http://ow.ly/v9is301rbYP
- And a new tech client start-up use multiple videos to explain their product internationally
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week. Yes, I’m looking forward to attending events, meeting entrepreneurs, hearing about what their businesses do, what that means and why.
Above all, I’m ready to be impressed and ready to be pitched to. Why? Am I in position to invest? No - Maybe next year, eh? http://ow.ly/JUpA301r1MH
No, I’m more interested to see if I "get it". Get the pitch. Quickly. In 15 seconds or so. I’m keen to witness the art of the elevator pitch, in practise, over and over.
I’m going to keep a mental note of the best and the worst of these pitches, these micro-descriptions of a business mission and strategy. The best being the ones where it’s a delight to hear. Where I come away confident that I could repeat what I’ve heard, if asked. The worst ones where it’s been more of a struggle. Where after more than a couple of questions I come away less sure and regretting that I asked.
DESCRIBING A UNIQUE PROPOSITION
Tech companies have a tough task to sum up what they do.
By their nature, they’re not only operating in technology, science, IT or something in some way unknowable to mere mortals, but they’re also, as businesses, often innovators, with a business model built around a unique proposition.
Too concise and you go over someone’s head. Too much detail and you’re in danger of over-taxing your listener who’s working out where it all fits in and what’s important.
They have to get the balance right between explaining what they do in ways that work for each of their target audiences, from the very informed to the ones who haven’t a clue.
When networking, they can gauge that balance. They can work out as they go if this guy "gets it" or if they need to backtrack a bit, paint a broader picture and give a general sense of what they do and why.
DEFINING A MESSAGING STRATEGY
In general comms, they have to work smarter, think carefully about context and audience and consider where they need to build messaging over time or where they need to focus on one key message.
In video comms, we do the same thing. We work out where our task is to educate, where we inform and where we need to excite our audience.
Often we’re briefed with a long list of what needs to be said and it’s our initial task to decide between a single "hero" concept and/or a "messaging hierarchy".
I’m looking forward to hearing the best and working out how they do it.