How to prepare the perfect elevator pitch

Have an idea, project, or job you want to pitch to your boss? The best way to do that is in an elevator pitch.

Being able to say what you mean confidentially can take you a long way in the business world. Finding a way to do that in a timely fashion is a whole other matter. An elevator pitch is a brief speech that is generally under two minutes. It is meant to spark interest in you, your idea, and project or product. It can be hard, to take your big idea and sizzle it down into a two-minute pitch. You need to make it exciting and interesting enough that your boss takes interest of your idea, but detailed enough that he/she knows you have the information to make it work. Luckily, Women’s Post has you covered. Here are some tips for that perfect elevator pitch:

Write it out

Block off an hour of your time and write out everything you know about your project or idea. Getting things down on paper will help you focus your argument and find the most salient and relevant points about your concept. This will create the blueprint for the elevator pitch and will help to separate the important information from the useless facts that aren’t needed.

Find the Hook

Once the information is laid out on paper, find the hook, which is otherwise known as the most interesting part of the idea. It should be the part of your blueprint that makes your heart beat fast and makes you feel excited about the project at hand. The hook is your leading statement because it will invoke a sense of confidence and excitement when you say it. From there, you can describe the proposal in a concise and timely manner.

Present a problem and solution

Once you have presented your idea, outline the problem and solution that you are looking to solve with your unique idea. This can be done in a few sentences and will demonstrate that your idea is relevant and important. It also induces a sense of urgency to your pitch because it demonstrates that there is a problem that needs to be solved in the immediate future.

Here is example of problem-solution based thinking in action: Say I approached my boss and said I wanted to develop an app that told people where available parking was located in each neighbourhood. I would then follow to say that there are no apps that currently that tell people where available parking is, causing frustration, gridlock and even accidents while people drive around trying to find a place to park.  My solution would be to create an app that showed available parking per neighbourhood on a grid map, and would specify what type and how much the parking cost. This would help people find parking quickly and would be a popular app for drivers, which would then provide revenue to the company at hand.

Be natural

Confidence is key when delivering a pitch in under two minutes. If you lack confidence in your idea, your boss will sense it and may lose interest. The best way to avoid that is to practice, practice, practice! By preparing your pitch in advance and practicing on friend and family or in the mirror, it will make you more confident in what you are saying. Acting natural and happy about your idea will liken other people to it as well.

Be prepared for follow-up

If your elevator pitch is a success, then your boss will want more details. Be sure to prepare for that as well and have answers to any questions on hand. This may include questions such as financing, feasibility, and target audiences. To properly formulate extra information, prepare potential questions that could follow your elevator pitch so that you are ready.

This is something everyone should know what to do. If you don’t use this information to pitch a business idea, use it as a way to practice public speaking or brainstorming. The key, regardless of the circumstance of your pitch, is to be confident in your ideas. It could be the next million dollar win — if you only present it in the right way.

How would you prepare an elevator pitch? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.

Gondola could bring Toronto into skies

Torontonians and tourists love this city because it has a little bit of everything — whether it’s a trip up the CN Tower, a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame, or a walk through Kensington Market, there is something for everyone. But, I’ve always felt something was missing. What is it, you may ask? A Gondola obviously!

Toronto is reviewing a proposal for a cable car that would traverse through the Don Valley, between Playter Gardens and Evergreen Brickworks. Private company Bullwheel International Cable Car Corp put forward the proposal for the gondola, saying that it would cost $20-25 million.

The gondola would have 40 cable cars, each carrying up to eight people each ride. The trip would be one kilometer, touring the Don Valley for a glorious eight minutes, cycling through every 15 to 30 seconds. The cable cars would also have a bicycle racks for those looking to explore the paths after the ride.

No proposals have been submitted to the city as of yet, but an informational meeting is scheduled for March 8 at Estonian House at 958 Broadview Ave. The meeting will be open to consultations with the community to ensure the project meets the needs of Torontonians.

If approved, the project will go forward in a series of phases. The first year is dedicated to public consultations, while the second year would include be dedicated to gaining approval from the City of Toronto, a process that will take a minimum of nine months.

The third year would be about construction (it is estimated to only take one year to construct and install the gondola) and the final step would be the testing period for safety measures. And voila, a gondola is born! The fact that the project is privately funded increases its rate of success in the city.

There have been recent tongue-in-cheek discussions about the gondola providing an alternative option for transportation, which is entertaining but if you are afraid of heights like myself, a terrifying idea. I’ll stick with the grounded options, thank you. Personally, I think the cable cars have the potential to help people reach places like the Evergreen Brickworks, whose location makes it feel like you are trying to get to a remote town in Alaska. It will also bring more tourist traffic to the Danforth and the Don Valley Parkway.

Let’s make Toronto even more desirable with a cable car in the Don Valley and allow ourselves eight magical minutes to revel in the natural beauty this city has to offer.