Imagine a situation where you have a wonderful idea related to your company’s next potential product or you are experiencing a bumpy ride with respect to the implementation of a plan, the one person who can put your thoughts into action or provide guidance in your problem i.e., your boss in an executive position, you have been trying to reach that person for a while but to no avail and suddenly, you find yourself standing with your boss for 90 seconds in an elevator, what are you going to do? What are you going to say? That’s a million-dollar question.

The window to opportunity is, in reality, very small and you have to exercise such mindfulness in most situations that you are able to seize the opportunity before it goes away to someone else. Such mindfulness is referred to in business world as ‘elevator pitch’. Literally speaking, it is called an elevator pitch because it takes place in an elevator and you are in an elevator for not more than 60 to 90 seconds. It can practically take place anywhere where you are with someone for the shortest period of time and you have to make an impact through your precise, succinct and oratory use of effective words.

For instance, imagine you are a project head of change process where the manual, paper-based work of your organisation is being transformed into an automated process. You and your team have completed the initial steps but only recently, you have started experiencing erratic situations in the process. You have been trying to reach your boss but she is extremely busy and suddenly, you find yourself with her in your early morning elevator ride. How would you go about doing the conversation? Let’s see:

“Ma’am, good to see you. I had to email your PA today to get a meeting arranged but it’s great that we meet here. I am the project head of the automation process that is happening organisation wide which will make us a step ahead of our competitors in terms of operational efficiency and the ROI is definitely the competitive advantage. We have got the nod from the organisational stakeholders, we have the right people on board in core project team and we have completed 4 of the 10 steps of this change process. However, the IT people in our team have identified a glitch in the automation software that is to be implemented soon. For that, we need to run testing to ensure compatibility with internal organisational systems and we need the approval from you to release additional financial resources for this critical task.”

The catch here is that you have to elaborate the positive aspects and achievements first before coming to the challenges for which you need your boss’ help. The objective is to gain the attention and have a one-to-one detailed meeting arranged with your boss so that problems and potential solutions could be discussed in length. If you will start fretting over your issues and present yourself to your supervisor in the same panicky way, the odds are that you will most probably get passed over and ignored!

Therefore, for an effective elevator pitch, first you have to tell what project you are doing, how that task is relevant and beneficial to the organisation as a whole and what the shared need is then present what the specific challenges are parsimoniously and what you want the person in authority and power to do for you. Following these steps would lead to towards the solution of your problem!