Let’s say you get into an elevator, and there he is; the Executive you want to pitch your show to. You decide to go for it. You turn to him and…. wait a minute… what the hell are going to say? You’re not going to wing it are you? You have 30 seconds to impress this guy and you’re going to wing it?
The Elevator Pitch is an important tool in your sales arsenal and if used properly can do wonders for getting meetings booked with the people who can get your show made. But you must treat it like the fine tool that it is; a scalpel, not a machete. The words you use to craft the 30 second story must be chosen carefully and delivered precisely.
I’ll cover all of this in more detail later in the Members Area but let’s have a quick look at what the effective elements of a successful Elevator Pitch are with some Do’s and Don’ts.
– Open with your Logline. That way even if the person you are pitching to has to get off on the 2nd floor they will know what your show is about.
– Pitch in present tense.
– Tell it like you would a story. It is natural and flowing.
– Be enthusiastic. This is an exciting show.
– Stick to the basics; do not give backstory unless it is imperative. You have 30 seconds. If they decide to ask you some questions you’ll have answers but do not use your time explaining something the audience won’t see on screen.
– Know your demographic. You won’t include this in your pitch but you better know it in case they ask the simple question “Who’s going to watch it?”
– After you have wrapped it up ask if you can contact him/her or their assistant to book a meeting.
– Don’t give your Elevator Pitch if you aren’t ready for a meeting. This should only be done when your show is ready to take to market.
– Never ever, ever pitch anyone in the bathroom. This is one of the Executives biggest pet peeves yet people continue to do it. Don’t let it be you.
– Don’t have bad breath. Nothing can distract an Exec from the details of your pitch like Caesar Salad breath.
– Don’t say “antics ensue” or “hilarity ensues”. You cannot ask them to read between the lines. You must describe what the antics and hilarity are.
– Do not end it with, “and that’s it. That’s the end.” You must wrap it up neatly at the end. You do NOT leave them hanging; this is not the time for a cliffhanger trick.
When trying to sell something there’s almost no time good time to wing it so practice practice practice and when the opportunity arises, you’ll be ready to impress an Exec before the elevator hits the second floor.