The importance of having your elevator pitch ready to go

Everyone talks about how important it is to have a great elevator pitch at the ready, as you never know who you are going to meet that could be a game-changer in your entrepreneurial life, be it a potential investor, a future client, or a possible business partner. The elevator pitch is that 15 second, highly compelling introduction to your business that grabs the attention of the person you are speaking to, and holds their interest. Last evening, I was in the audience at the Standard Bank Incubator in Rosebank, Johannesburg, listening to the elevator pitches of eight up-and-coming entrepreneurs as part of Demo Day, an event aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors. Some pitches were more compelling than others, but all of them exuded the passion that only entrepreneurs can convey for their businesses. However, what was really interesting at this event was the informal pitching and connecting happening off-stage amongst members of the audience. It was a great example of what happens naturally when you put a large number of entrepreneurs in one room with members of the eco-system - everyone makes the most of the opportunity to pitch their new ideas, explore possible collaborations and reconnect with existing connections. So, if you don’t have your 15 second elevator pitch ready to go, you are missing a trick!