If you have a research idea and would like to approach someone at the conference, it is a good idea to have prepared a clear and concise message that will attract the persons attention. The idea behind an Elevator Pitch is just that; if you happened to stand next to someone in an elevator and would like to sell your idea, you need to have planned and prepared a small sales pitch in advance to get your message across in the limited time available (20-30 seconds).
Use the following steps to help you prepare your pitch:
1. Identify your Goal
What is it that you would like to achieve by talking to the person? For example, do you have a research idea you would like to discuss, do you have an industry problem and are looking for solutions, or do you want to discuss a paper presented at the conference?
2. Explain what you do
Provide some background on yourself to create an interest in you, as well as your idea. If you can do this with a smile, you will be better remembered.
3. Communicate your unique selling point
Identify the core of your idea/problem/discussion point/etc and what makes it unique and interesting, and express this in at most a couple of sentences.
4. Engage with a question
At this point, it is time to engage the listener. Prepare open-ended questions that requires the listener to engage you in a conversation about your idea or problem.
5. Practice and Refine
Practice your pitch a couple of times beforehand, so you know that you will be able to get it across in an interesting way.
A good elevator pitch is clear and simple, uses words that creates images in peoples minds, is adapted to the intended target, clearly addresses your goal, and has a hook (i.e. something that catches the interest of the listener). It may also contain an example.
A well performed elevator pitch is delivered with enthusiasm and feels genuine and natural.