They say that Warren Buffet used to grant the time it took for the elevator to go up to the floor where he had his office so that the candidates could explain their investment ideas. Myth or reality, the truth is that the so-called elevator speech or elevator pitch has become a science of business presentation that in the United States has already created a school. Often the dynamics of business means that we have to sell our idea in a very short time, in just a few minutes. And, as the saying goes, the first impression is what counts. What you get with that initial impression is not to close a deal, but buy time, move to the second level to expose your project. It is shown that very good ideas badly exposed in the form do not go anywhere and, conversely, well presented medium projects can go very far.
IT’S YOUR ONLY OPPORTUNITY
There are few things that a businessman or senior manager value more than his time. So if we are able to summarize an idea, propose a project, sell a business or present our company in five minutes we will have already achieved half of the work. Do not forget that what you do in the first attempt will determine the future of the conversation.
In the book You have three minutes, we summarize the results of a study on body language in which percentages of importance are set in the transmission of the message for each of the elements involved in a face-to-face conversation and the conclusions are surprising: the words, the speech itself, only accounts for 7%, while other elements apparently more collateral as the visual (image and body language) represent 55%. The remaining 38% is reserved for the vocal elements (tone, inflection …).
WHEN AND WHERE
The elevator resource is fine in theory, but in practice it is difficult to have the chance to meet the perfect person when we want. So it will be better to look for any other moment. An infallible advice in any case is to have our speech well prepared so that when the occasion arises we will not be caught unaware.
● Beware of taking advantage of moments of leisure or rest from our interlocutor because it can be considered an intolerable interference.
● In this, as in almost everything in life, it is about using common sense and not bothering anyone in the same way that we would not like them to do with us. But once the opportunity is identified, do not waste it and go to expose your ideas. As the saying goes, opportunities paint them bald. Never let a good time pass.
The ideal scenario in any case to present our project is always in front of a table in an office.
HOW TO DO IT
With aplomb and decision. There is nothing that is as contagious as enthusiasm. It is important to trust fully in the idea we present: enthusiasm makes us transmit passion and confidence in what we are saying.
Contagious enthusiasm. It is, then, to adopt a positive and enthusiastic attitude, so that, whatever the response of our interlocutor, nothing makes us doubt our goal. The big businessmen and investors are usually great manipulators in the good sense of the word, that is, they are accustomed to turning over the tortilla in a matter of seconds, so it is important that we have prepared not only an endless number of replicas, counter-arguments and arguments, but it would also be good to do an exercise of self-containment to avoid falling into provocations.
Enthusiasm and credibility must also be transmitted through non-verbal communication, visual contact, for example, looking at the other in the eyes, in the center, between the eyebrows. Expressiveness with the hands, making open and forceful movements, but not aggressive. It is essential to show naturalness, so that you show security and strength.
Watch the volume of the voice. It must be powerful but not strident. Average intonation and average speed, balanced. All this without forgetting the speed of the other: if it is someone who moves fast and speaks quickly, it is better to accelerate our speech; if, on the other hand, it is someone who tends to reflect and parsimony, it is convenient to moderate the rhythm. That harmonization, that empathy will generate credibility in you and in your proposal. Credibility depends 92% on these factors.
We find it more comfortable to be assaulted by someone with a caring and attractive appearance than by someone who is unkempt or with an obvious lack of aesthetics. The important thing is to adapt our clothing to the auditorium, but respecting our own style.
There are colors more suitable for presentations: in the case of men, the blue suit. It is attractive, but not stressful or strident. A striking tie, but without going over. In the case of women, ocher or orange colors capture attention but do not generate tension or aggression. The makeup, always discreet.
● Perfume yes, but soft, do not forget that the impressions that enter us through smell are the most persistent.
● Whether we are going to try to convince a client or an investor, it is recommended to offer a prestigious image through some elements that can demonstrate our socioeconomic status: good clothes, branded shoes, a good watch … It is about transmit the idea that you propose a business one on one.
● If it is a supplier or a boss, it is good to put yourself at a more appropriate level or even lower, but giving the image that you will not need the post as much.
● The car clean and in perfect condition, that gives the impression that you have a level and that you sell a lot, but without overwhelming.
CAPTURE THE ATTENTION
The five-minute speech must meet a series of requirements regarding the start, style and message to be effective. Here we develop the keys of each of these parts, and the practical application that would give the imaginary manager of a company that we have invented. The company is called ‘Forget everything’, specializing in managing the geographical mobility of workers:
1. The start
Generates your interest, catches your attention. How? There are many linguistic resources: from the formulation of a problem, to some significant figures, a historical anecdote. In essence what you are going to raise is the binomial problemaversussolución. Let’s take an example.
A phrase as an example:
“Forget everything’ will change the way to deal with the geographical mobility of workers. And now I will explain it to you point by point.”
Do it in the form of a question. Usually it has more effect, instead of a direct affirmation, to resort to a question: “You have never seen a person who at any given moment does, needs, wants or asks for something”. In these cases, the most effective is to generate a positive concern and, from there, try to offer the answer: “I have already found the solution. How? In this way”.
A sentence as an example: “Did you know that what worries workers the most when they have to move abroad is not the language but the problems inherent in moving and moving? We take care of everything”.
A slogan We often know what we do and how we do it, but we forget why we do it and when it comes to explaining our company or our idea in three minutes it is good to be clear about our mission: “to turn dreams into reality” (a matrimonial agency), “make life easier” (a well-known brand of household appliances) … Find yourself a slogan, a slogan that defines your essence well and that same phrase is what can be used to start your exhibition. Do not forget that if you enter someone saying “we build the future of this country”, you will inevitably raise in the other the need to ask something of the type “And what do they do?”. You have already gotten attention.
“A calm, comfortable and fast change. The worker only has to take charge of catching the plane. We take care of everything else.”
2. A well-armed argument
It is convenient to prepare well a first executive summary of no more than three pages, in which you expose your project as if you were telling a beautiful story that includes how the idea was created, how it is developed, presentation of the team and strategy to develop the idea. And, once this summary has been made, you must extract the essential ideas from each of the points so that you can expose them in a surprise case. Do not forget that this surprise speech should be attractive, simple, understandable by anyone, contagious and stimulating. So, following this approach, you should always include:
Business model: All speech must contain three elements: what you sell, to whom you sell it and how you sell it. The idea must be very clear, the need must be very obvious and the solution logical and irrefutable. In addition to the name of the company, it is convenient to identify for our interlocutor the activity to which we dedicate ourselves, commenting on some of the products or services that you may know. The more ethereal it is, the less effect our speech will have.
“In such a globalized market, we needed a company that was responsible for managing everything related to the trips of workers. In ‘Forget everything’ we take care of moving, finding a flat, managing school places, hiring local domestic service…”
Who is behind the idea, who is going to do this. It is valid both if it is to sell an idea – because in that case we are presenting the perfect team, with experience in this field and with enough training and preparation – to sell a project of the company, because maybe we need to look for some member of the company. team more.
A phrase as an example: Our team has been in this market for more than a decade. Both my partner and I have developed a large part of our career in international public relations companies. We are specialists in marketing and public relations and we have contacts with the main world suppliers.
Presentation of the market: It is important to make clear what is the market in which we move and what are the competitive advantages we offer. It is also worth mentioning our presence in certain national and international markets, the achievements made and future projects. And we must not forget to mention who our competition is.
A phrase as an example: Our great advantage is the prestige achieved over the years, which allows us to choose among the main international suppliers. In addition, we have delegations in all European capitals. Our main competitors, Look Around and ABC Contact, manage everything from the head office in London and in Barcelona.
In general, it is always good to talk in terms of results or the motivation of the person and of course always using positive language, in which concepts such as’ benefit ‘,’ future ‘,’ increase ‘,’ profitability ‘,’ appear. extension’. It is convenient to use expressions of the type of risk, profitability, sustainability, synergies, coherence, all the words that refer to risk and profitability.
It is estimated that in 60 seconds enter between 150 and 220 words depending on the speed of speech, so prepare well the speech, but expecting that you can be interrupted, which is preferable to stay short that you can not expose all your arguments. Memorize it, study it well so that you do not keep important things in the inkwell, but expose it with naturalness, that you do not notice that you know it by heart, tell it spontaneously, as if you were telling your best friend. A good resource to show naturalness and enthusiasm is to smile while you talk (even if the speech is telephone), it is more friendly and friendly. And do not forget to breathe.
“Forget everything” is a project that can be applied both in journeys outside the country and in those made within Spanish territory. Its viability is guaranteed and the risk is almost nil. But, above all, the great advantage of ‘Forget everything’ is the peace of mind it offers its workers to face such a delicate moment in their professional life.”
A STRATEGY FOR EACH INTERLOCUTOR
As general guidelines, we offer you some tips of what you should take into account when presenting your arguments to different economic actors that we have summarized here as the investor, the client or the provider:
To an investor, in addition to telling him what I do, how I do it and how it will benefit him, you must tell him how I will cover the expenses and how I will make money.
“Forget everything has gone from the 10 initial delegations to the current 25, we have contracts with more than 50 companies and we have displaced more than 1,000 workers around the world. Such expansion forces us to expand capital, in order to open three delegations in Asia. We need a million euros to have the offices in operation within three months, so that after nine months we start to recover the investment.”
Instead of telling you what you sell, you must tell them what it is for and how it will change your life to use your products. We have to talk about intangible things: what it brings to the client, what is the meaning of my company for him, is something that helps him to move forward and that fits with other things that he already consumes.
“In a company like yours where 43% of the workers develop a third of their career outside their place of origin, it is essential that all the logistics and infrastructure surrounding these trips are guaranteed and better if it is done globally. That’s what we offer from ‘Forget everything'”
In the case of large suppliers, it is a matter of selling them a long-term relationship. Make him see the benefits of working with us. Identify the needs that we can cover: a greater knowledge of the business, a wider area, a new commercial route…