It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time, even before you start to speak. In this short time, people form an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language and the image you convey.
It is virtually impossible to undo this first impression, which explains why first encounters are so important, they really set the tone for all future relationships. In a business context, knowing how to present one’s company, products or services in a concrete and concise manner is a perilous exercise. However, the “elevator pitch” – as the Americans call it – or “speed pitching” is a seducing concept, which can help everyone to master this challenge.
What is the idea behind the concept? It’s easy: if the conversation inside the elevator is interesting and value adding, it will continue after the elevator ride and initiate other exchanges (such as an exchange of business cards or the scheduling of a meeting).
But the pressure of the stopwatch is real. The challenger has a very short time – more or less 120 words/min. – to give the best possible impression of him/herself to people whom they have never seen before, while still remaining very convincing. You have to show that you are the best! This kind of method is used in several situations, when a person has to introduce something or someone in a few seconds, e.g. sales personnel who want to present their products to a client, evangelists who have to capture people’s attention, entrepreneurs who want to convince investors, etc.
Several kinds of speed pitching events are organised on the basis of the “elevator pitch” concept as a means of getting professionals together.
Some companies organise “speed pitching” challenges, gathering several professionals and asking them to present their activity, their advantages for the firm and why they are better than their competitors. In this way, the company can evaluate the participants in a short time and choose its partners or providers.
Several institutions or firms even organise such events to enable various professionals to present themselves (skills, products, services, etc.) and to meet other participants who could be interested by a partnership. The ultimate aim of this kind of event is to create a professional network and of course, to find new clients!
Never forget whether in a social or professional context, it is always important to know how to create a good first impression!