Although Amsterdam’s buildings are famous for its steep staircases (try going down after a few beers), today’s office buildings do have elevators. Among the benefits is the classic opportunity to take your business idea to a whole new level by delivering a killer elevator pitch. After all, having a brilliant idea is one thing, but convincing possible clients or investors of its potential is a second. To help you out winning over those precious souls, we have put together 10 ways to elevate your pitching skills.

1. Mind the Body Lingo
A staggering 55% of your message is communicated through body language. As such, it is important to be aware of what is going on in that body of yours. Some quick tips. Chest up, shoulders back, straight spine (sounds like yoga, right?).Turn your body towards the person you are talking to and involve your arms and hands to make an open and confident impression. Also, beware of your facial expressions, meaning, try to relax your face, to smile and to talk with that inspiring sparkle in your eyes.

2. Tone It Up
38% of what your saying is determined by how you are saying it; the so-called tone of voice. Try to talk with a low-pitched voice and at a slower pace than usual, in order to come across as more powerful. Also, beware of your intonation and breathing. At the end of a sentence, your voice must go down, not up. In addition, be aware of the power of a pause every now and then, not to be confused with excessive amount of “uuhms” and “ahhhs”. We suggest you save those for later.
3. Choose Your Words Wisely
The last 7% of communication is determined by verbal expressions a.k.a. words. It is not a lot, but still, the number seven is considered to be the lucky number, right? Try to make use of positive wording. Replace “no problem” with “definitely”, replace “I should” with “I would like” replace “but” with “and”. At the end of the day, the feeling you awaken in others is what sticks with people and what they will always associate with you.
4. Know Who You Are Talking To

If you don’t know the person, simply ask what he or she does so you can anticipate the needs and wants of your audience. Based on who somebody is, the goal of your pitch might be completely different.

5. Ask Away
A common pitfall of people pitching an idea, is that they think that all the talking is up to them. By asking relevant questions, you can engage the audience and tailor your message in such a way that elements of what they have said come back in your message. Some call it framing, some call it being smart. In the end, it is up to you to say what the audience wants to hear. Make sure you capitalize on that opportunity. 

6. Listen, listen, listen
Ok, back to the “we’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason” bullcrap. For real though, listening is underrated and it also is the secret key to making sense while talking. If people feel listened to, they feel understood and will appreciate you and your story a whole lot more.

7. Keep Your Goal in Mind
Once you determined who you are talking to and what your goal is, make sure you stick with that  goal. Sure you can use examples and anecdotes, but don’t wander off too much. Make sure your message is clear. You came here for a reason.


8. Know Your Numbers
Sure, beautiful stories are a great tool to appeal to people’s emotions. However, if you are talking to (potential) investors, chances are they are mainly interested in the bottom line. Trust us, you want to be on top of your numbers to truly make this pitch count.

9. Make Your Story Round
If you started your pitch with a funny statement, question or anecdote, it is a subtle extra to come back to it in your last sentences. This will put a smile on people’s faces, plus it shows that you thought about what you were saying. If your story is round, it is likely to make more sense.

10. Stay Humble
Just because you are trying to convince someone, doesn’t mean you should get overconfident. We all know that pushy people are annoying. Instead, offer people an opt-out (“
if this is not what you are looking for, I’d completely respect that”) if necessary. On top of that, make sure to genuinely thank them for listening to you, regardless of the outcome of your pitch.

Need assistance preparing for your pitch? Maybe we can help!

About Amstel Lab
Amstel Lab partners with start-ups and scale-ups to commercialize your business. On the back of our experience, we have developed the unique Amstel Lab method: a tailor-made approach to maximize success. We test your markets, refine your product, innovate your commercial approach and execute your strategies. Any good idea is worth seeing through.

Want to learn more? Contact us through [email protected]