Have you ever thought about how long it takes you to go up an elevator? Have you ever thought about talking to a random stranger in an elevator?
Last week my Entrepreneurial Media class had to give an “elevator pitch”. The pitch consisted of selling a product to someone you could meet in an elevator, and doing so in 60-90 seconds. My partners and I designed a food app called CookLook. The overall idea of the app is to enter in ingredients that you have at home, and CookLook’s database will provide you with recipes that include those ingredients. Our big sell point was that the app allows you to use what you already have, and keeps you from going to the grocery store, or Jimmy John’s, resulting in saving users money.
The writing process came easily for me. However, the delivery, was not as graceful. What was most surprising to me was how nervous I was to give a 60 second speech to classmates I have known for 4 years. During the writing process, I did not think that I would get nervous during the delivery of my pitch– I am used to getting up and talking to 157 of my sorority sisters each week when I run our chapter meetings, and that has never been a nerve-wracking issue. When I saw a few of my other classmates freeze and mess up, I believe I psyched myself out, and that is where I ran into trouble. In writing my pitch, I came up with bullet points of ideas to sell CookLook, and memorized those points. It seemed that the majority of my classmates also memorized their pitches. While it worked for the majority of the class to wiz through with no errors, for some- including myself- the memorization was easily thrown off with the slightest mistakes of wording.
Despite the nerves, I thought my class did well with the dreaded elevator pitch assignment. Everyone’s ideas were intriguing, and the deliveries were nearly flawless. I learned that memorization for speeches is not always best, but it is best to have your strong important points memorized. I also learned that even if you are not a “nervous person”, nerves can still get the best of you, so it is best to prepare for them in all situations, especially when presenting. Most importantly, I learned that you can sell a product with all of the important details in a minute or less, and that will be an important tool and skill to have for the future.