You’re probably wondering what an elevator pitch has to do with your change project. Elevator pitches are for salesmen, everyone knows that. But for your project to get anywhere, a salesman is exactly what you’ll need to become.
You need your colleagues to devote scarce time and resources to your project and they aren’t going to do that without proper motivation. Listing the goals and benefits and logic of the thing isn’t going to cut it. Since when are people logical?
So how do you go about crafting that show-stopping message? Here are five steps to guide you.
Understand your goal
You know what the goal of your project is, but what exactly do you want to happen at the end of this conversation with this individual? It could be purely emotional or more concrete, like getting them to come to a workshop or to spread the message to others.
Accept that they don’t care about your project
It’s not that your colleagues are apathetic, everyone simply has their own workload to worry about. So it’s up to you to figure out how to make them care. How will your project make their life better? If they don’t see what’s in it for them, they won’t get involved.
Set the stakes
You don’t want to rain down doom and gloom, but your audience needs to see consequences they can relate to. If you manage to ask the right question about what their work life will be like if the change fails, you can actually get them to show themselves what’s at stake.
Show them a credible plan
Your job title doesn’t give you credibility. Being able to clearly show you know what needs to be done and who needs to help does. Be concise yet specific. Make sure to avoid buzzwords and jargon as they cause people to mentally switch off.
Make it easy to take action
You’ve got them on the hook, but they can easily forget about your project five minutes later. Make it simple for them to take the next step. For example, it could be getting a promise to gather information you need or booking a meeting with their boss.
The real bar for success with an elevator pitch is when it feels like a personal conversation. Making it feel spontaneous takes a lot of practice. When you’ve got your message down, tell it to yourself in the mirror. If it feels like it’s wandering, trim the fat. Then trim it some more.
Experience: 8 years as a Creative
Personal mission: To inject humanity into your communication
Weapon of choice: Nouns and verbs and adjectives
Change anthem: The Hand That Feeds, Nine Inch Nails
Latest posts by Jason Ross (see all)
- Your co-workers deserve the same creative standards as your customers - November 11, 2015
- How to craft your change project’s elevator pitch - May 21, 2015