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A good elevator pitch succinctly summarizes who you are and what you do, while clearly communicating what value you bring to a person or organization. Most importantly, your pitch should grab the listener’s attention to ensure a lasting business connection.

A refined pitch serves as an invaluable tool to elevate your daily interactions:

  • Introduce your product or service to customers
  • Network with potential business partners
  • Present a new idea or direction to stakeholders

How to craft your pitch

Most pitches should be between 20-30 seconds long—so it’s essential to make every word count. By preparing and practicing ahead of time, you can organize your thoughts and prioritize your messaging. Over time, you can learn to adapt your pitch for different audiences or to focus on a specific product, service or value prop.

How do you create a great pitch? Follow these five essentials steps:

  1. Identify your goal

Do you want to sell your services, connect with business partners, or promote your company? Your goal will drive the direction of your pitch. When tailoring your pitch to your audience, also identify the problem and solution that they’ll find most valuable.

  1. Concisely introduce yourself

This isn’t the time to give your life story and background—give your name and get to the point quickly. Deliver your pitch using clear, easy-to-understand language, and avoid using industry jargon.

  1. Focus on the value

This is the big one—the heart of a great pitch. Why should the listener care about what you’re saying? What’s in it for them? Clearly communicate the benefit you or your services provide, how you solve problems, and the value you’re offering.

  1. Be unique

What sets you apart from the competition? Explain how only you can do what you do. Back this up with data or results you’ve achieved. Be authentic and let your personality show.

  1. Ask a question

Ending with a question opens up the conversation and allows for further engagements.

Remember: a good elevator pitch doesn’t stop at the elevator—you should always exchange contact information to keep the conversation going.

Elevate your pitch with Microsoft

We want to support our partners in creating and sharing perfect pitches that capture the passions and values that make each of you unique. At Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 15 ­– 19, 2018, we’ll be offering an interactive and engaging way for you to capture your elevator pitch. Visit us at Elevate Your Pitch in The Commons to get a professional video recording of your pitch to use as a digital networking tool. It can help you form new relationships through social media and other digital channels by providing a quick insight into you and your business.

Whether you’re on the ground at Microsoft Inspire or participating virtually from across the world, use the hashtag #MSElevateYourPitch to tag your recorded pitch or share your own tips and tricks.