Nonprofit boards – stop stressing the elevator pitch

Today’s Movie Monday arrived with a video about elevator pitches.

What’s an elevator pitch? It’s a canned, rehearsed, short spiel about your organization  – one that takes no longer to tell than a short elevator ride.

I’ve stopped counting the number of times I’ve been asked to include a segment on creating an elevator pitch in a board retreat I’m facilitating.

It seems everyone is stressed out about elevator pitches. Why?

It think it is because most board members are worried about flubbing the introduction to their organization. And because everyone keeps telling them they need an elevator speech.

So here are three bits of advice you  might find helpful:

  1. Ask board members and staff to tap into what moves them about your cause. Try Gail Perry’s simple but effective exercise to get your board members tuned in to why they care. As Gail explains, they likely will forget the elevator pitch, but won’t forget why it is they care about your organization.
  2. Think of the pitch as actually three pitches. Try out Erica Mills’ three step approach – Know, Understand, Engage. She explains it all in this short Movie Monday video Ditch Your Elevator Pitch
  3. And don’t forget your donor. Tom Ahern explains all in this sofii post.

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