“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” right? Nope. A lie from the pit of hell.

That’s right, you’ve been told a lie for a long, long time. I’ll explain shortly. For now, consider your elevator pitch. You’ve got a maximum of 30 seconds, assuming you have the full attention of your audience. What can you say in that time? Better question: what should you say?

Before you answer that using the tried and true construct as the starting point for your pitch, consider this: what is the goal of the elevator pitch? To get the sale? No. To get an investment? No. The elevator pitch has one goal and only one goal: get the next meeting.

[Tweet “The elevator pitch has 1 goal and only 1 goal: get the next meeting.”]

Now, with that understanding, what should you say in your elevator pitch to accomplish your singular goal of getting the next meeting? Hint: not the whole enchilada. You only have 30 seconds and one goal. That should narrow the focus of your words quite well, down to just enough to get your audience interested. At a recent session of Pitch Practice, angel investor Charlie Paparelli made a very interesting comment:

“A good test of an elevator pitch is if it results in a meaningful discussion afterward.”

Brilliant! In other words, your elevator pitch should be the spark, not the flame thrower, howitzer, or B52. Your pitch should get your audience talking, get them interested, whet their appetite for more…get the next meeting.

Now, about that thirsty horse. If you put salt in the horse’s oats, he will drink when you get him to the water. Your pitch is the salt in the oats of your audience. Make them thirsty for more.

This is but one of dozens of lessons that come up over and over with all different audiences at Pitch Practice. That’s why we’re creating the Pitch Practice Podcast, and we need your help to launch the podcast to #1 on iTunes “New & Noteworthy” category. Will you help? Click here to join the launch team!

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