Craft a Winning Elevator Pitch

To help all students understand exactly what is expected for their IQ E-Pitch video, we have compiled the below resources and tips to help you best present yourself and idea.

View the exact rubric judges will use to evaluate all video pitches.

Writing Your Pitch

The length of your video pitch should be between 60 and 120 seconds. You will also be evaluated on the overall quality of your presentation, along with the implementation of the "Six P's" and "Nine C's," detailed below.

The "Six P's"

An elevator pitch is a short, prepared speech introducing several key components of your idea, which can be broken down using what is called a Six P’s approach. Learn more about the Six P's.

  1. Presentation: Is the format, length and delivery of your pitch appropriate and professional?
  2. Pain: What is the problem that you're trying to solve?
  3. Premise: How are you going to make the pain go away?
  4. People: Answer the question, ‘Why you?’ If you have partners that are critical to the idea they should be mentioned here as well.
  5. Proof: Market research, prototypes or intellectual property
  6. Purpose: What is your profit potential or social benefit of this enterprise?

The simplest way to write an elevator pitch is to address each P in turn. Begin by writing a sentence or two about the pain you are addressing, then the problem, and so on. Once finished, read it aloud and time it. Does it make sense? Is it easy to understand? If someone were asking me for money in this way would I be interested enough to stick around and learn more?

Craft a Winning Elevator Pitch

The "Nine C's"

Evaluate your elevator pitch using the Nine C’s. Learn more about the Nine C's.

Ask yourself, ask your friends:

  1. Is it clear?
    Use plain English as much as possible. Avoid acronyms and jargon. Don't use a large word when a diminutive one will do.
  2. Is it concise?
    
You don’t have much time, so it’s important to be as brief.
  3. Is it credible?
    People should believe you when you deliver your pitch. There are two complementary ways to accomplish this. You can explain why you're qualified and sound like you know what you’re talking about (because you've practiced, and you really do know what you’re talking about).
  4. Is it consistent?
    Have a message and stay on it. If you have numbers for something, use the same numbers throughout. Don’t contradict yourself within your pitch. It’s easier to do than you might think.
  5. Is it conversational?
    You shouldn’t sound like you’re reciting the pitch, even though you probably are. Keep in mind that the elevator pitch is the beginning of a real conversation, one in which you hope to convince the listener that your idea is amazing and they want in on it.
  6. Is it conceptual?
    Do not go into details in the elevator pitch. You don’t have time. For instance, when discussing proof, if you’ve done market research, you may know that 15 percent of college students will buy your product. You may also know a breakdown of that number based on other demographic information. That 15 percent is enough in most cases.
  7. Is it concrete?
    Be as specific as you can. This sounds like the opposite of No. 6 above, but it’s not really.
  8. Is it compelling?
    You typically address this most in the pain section. You explain the pain, and part of that is convincing us that it’s important to ‘fix’ the pain.
  9. Is it customized?
    
Insomuch as possible, tailor your elevator pitch to your audience. T
    he skill of pitching, and perhaps even the pitch you’re developing for this contest, is useful elsewhere. You might actually get on an elevator with Bill Gates, and wouldn’t it be awesome if you had a fantastic opportunity for him?

Additional Tips

An elevator pitch is the beginning of a conversation, and a question is just a continuation of that conversation. The below tips will ensure your pitch video will accomplish just that.

  1. Practice makes perfect. Rehearse it until you know it by heart. 
  2. Use visual aids to enhance your message, not deliver it. You can, and probably should, have visual aids, but those aids probably shouldn’t be index cards with your presentation written out word-for-word. Prototypes make excellent visual aids, as do poster boards. Poster boards could contain market data, pictures of the product or service in use, or even technical drawings.
  3. Finally, have fun! This competition provides the chance to meet new people, exchange ideas and possibly lay the groundwork for an exciting new future. 

We look forward to seeing you at IQ E-Pitch!