An elevator pitch—also known as an elevator speech—is a quick synopsis of your background and experience. The reason it's called an elevator pitch is that it should be short enough to present during a brief elevator ride.

This speech is all about you: who you are, what you do, and what you want to do (if you're job hunting).

Ways to avoid common mistakes in your elevator pitch:

  1. Speak naturally

Sounding too rehearsed can make the conversation feel forced, so do your best to deliver your elevator pitch with a conversational tone. You might find it helpful to write your pitch down in abbreviated bullet points. When you practice giving it, you’ll train yourself to remember ideas instead of memorizing a direct script which can make your presentation sound more organic.

2. Slow it down

Give your elevator pitch at a slower, thoughtful pace to ensure they have time to process what you’re saying. It might be your natural tendency to speak quickly or it may occur if you feel nervous. Regardless, make a conscious effort to reduce your speed and incorporate this strategy when you rehearse your pitch.

3. Use one pitch for most (but not all) occasions

You may not need to customize your elevator pitch for all audiences.  The more personalized your ideas are, the more likely you are to get a positive result from the conversation. It shows your depth of interest and respect for the listener’s time.

4. Make it easy to understand

Use plain language in your elevator pitch that all audiences can understand. For instance, a lot of technical jargon and industry-specific terms can make it difficult for them to ask you follow-up questions and it might make them less likely to continue the conversation with you. Save niche terms for a technical interview, and make your pitch easy for everyone to follow.

Don't forget to watch the video "Kevin Hale - How to Pitch Your Startup" on ConferenceCast