A non-profit organization that I do volunteer work for asked me to review its “elevator pitch” – a short summary used to quickly and simply define what a person, product, service or organization does and briefly outline its vision or mission. It’s so named because the pitch should last no longer than the average elevator ride.

The organization wanted to share this statement with its volunteers so the volunteers could quickly and effectively communicate what the organization does and why its work is important to the community. In the case of this organization, my contact provided me with a full page of bullet points, all of which were important but any one of which was too lengthy to serve as an effective elevator pitch. 

This is not unusual. Crafting a clear, concise and effective elevator pitch is a challenge for many businesses and organizations. The following are some tips to help you craft an elevator pitch for your law firm, a practice group or an individual attorney.

Keep it short: It’s no surprise that, in today’s business environment, everyone is busy, so an elevator pitch should be no more than three or four short sentences or take under 60 seconds to say. Don’t edit yourself at first. It’s usually much easier to include everything you want to say in the first draft and then go back and pare it down.

Explain what you offer: Explain the benefits you, your firm or practice group can offer and what sets you apart from the competition. Remember to include why your experience and knowledge makes you the most qualified to address the need and deliver the solution. This might include your law firm’s record for successfully defending clients or a technical background that better enables you to understand a client’s business.

Avoid legal jargon: Speak simply and avoid using industry terminology or acronyms. Not everyone may be familiar with your area of practice or industry.

Be natural: Get comfortable with your pitch so it doesn’t sound stiff or rehearsed. Show enthusiasm and excitement. If you’re not excited, no one else will be.

Leave them wanting more: The purpose of the elevator pitch is to get you a meeting or, perhaps, a referral. Don’t put everything in the pitch; just pique interest enough to get a prompt response.

Update accordingly: Finally, remember to keep your elevator pitch fresh. Every business – and law firms are no exception – grows and changes, and your pitch has to grow and change with it.

Do you have tips on how to write the perfect elevator pitch? Leave a comment or contact me, Carlos Arcos, at carcos@jaffepr.com