YourABA: June 2013
YourABA October 2013 Masthead

Going up? Prepare your elevator pitch

The elevator door opens and there stands the CEO of a major business located in your building. She asks what you do. Do you have a well-crafted elevator pitch prepared? Every attorney should have one, said Brenda Stewart, president of Stewart Marketing and Consulting, in a recent issue of The Young Lawyer.

An elevator pitch is a brief overview of a product, service, project or person that is designed to get a conversation started. It should be two to three sentences and take less than 30 seconds to deliver, Stewart said.

For an attorney, the elevator pitch is not a "high-speed regurgitation of what you do for all types of clients or all of the firm’s practice areas," she said. The elevator pitch is meant to be a succinct expression of what you do in a way that demonstrates the benefit to the recipient.

Here are some key points to help you develop your elevator pitch:

  1. Keep it short and sweet. Be as concise as possible to allow for reciprocal dialogue.

  2. Create interest or a "hook." The main objective of the elevator pitch is to demonstrate the value you bring to clients and, if possible, to the specific industry of the person you are addressing.

  3. Keep it simple. Don’t use legal jargon or technical phrases.

  4. Be conceptual and concrete, if possible. Keep the pitch at a high level (open to various opportunities) but in balance to provide specific or tangible benefits to working with you.

  5. Practice, practice, practice. Initially, write out a script. Once you are comfortable with it, practice it using several different methods. Send yourself a voicemail message of your pitch and listen to it. Practice on friends or family using different versions of your pitch. Practice in front of a mirror. Remember that the pitch should be delivered in a natural, conversational tone.

Once you’ve got your pitch down, you’ll want to develop several versions that cover your individual practice as well as one that speaks to the firm’s general practice. The pitch used will depend on the target audience.

The Young Lawyer is a publication of the Young Lawyers Division.

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