Many readers do not have the time to read everything. The world moves quickly and people have short attention spans. People become bored at a frightening rate.
As Cecil Beaton said, ‘Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The worst is being a bore.’
- How do we grab their attention?
- How do we make them trust us?
- How do we change their minds?
In a busy world, the elevator pitch is a powerful tool for business writers. Measured in the time span of an elevator ride, it should take no more than 20 seconds to read. When written, it should not be longer than 100 words.
Cover these points in your elevator pitch:
- What is your product or service? If it is a person, tell us who he or she is. Use no more than three lines for this. [If you need help, use the inverted pyramid]
- Who is your audience and/or market? Tell us in one line.
- Who are your competitors? Show that you have done your homework.
- What is your competitive edge? What is your unique selling point?
- Include a call to action. What do you want from your audience?
- You open with an intriguing question or compelling statement.
- Your copy takes no more than 20 seconds to read.
- You write about your success, goals, and vision.
- You include pertinent statistics, research information, and facts.
- You ask for something. Close the deal. Thank readers for their time.
You can even use the elevator pitch for a personal pitch for a job. Have a look at this example of a 57-word pitch from Idealist Careers:
‘I’m currently working as Human Resources Manager at [insert company]. My supervisors frequently commend me for being able to weigh and consider multiple perspectives and negotiate conflicting perspectives. I’m looking for suggestions/advice on how I can further cultivate my expertise in this field. My ultimate aim is to help organisations develop more ethical and inclusive workplace cultures.’
If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme.
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