A clear value proposition is vital for elevator pitches.

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Cut and dry, if you can’t tell me what your entrepreneurial project does in a sentence, you’ve got a problem.

I can’t begin to tell you how common a mistake it is among budding entrepreneurs to delve into the mundane details of their projects. It usually starts off like this.

“We at New Mobile Platforms Ltd. have developed a revolutionary platform that will change the way in which people communicate. By utilizing free wifi access across major urban areas we were able to relay signals and triangulate the locations of other individuals using the same application on their mobile devices, thus pinpointing the users location to 2.3m. Other users and subscribers to friend’s devices, can see other users via real time database query’s that are updated on their mobile devices from street to our data centre and their handset every 15 seconds via, GPRS, EDGE and G3 network connections, as well as free Wifi hotspots. If you look at our programming schematic, you will see that etc… etc… etc…”

Long story short, to most investors, individuals, and to the general public you might as well be speaking Ancient Greek. The majority of the population are not engineers, do not know industry jargon, and most importantly are not interested in detailed programming schematics. What it is that they are interested in is how the product will help them in the course of their day to day lives and what need it satisfies, and when dealing with investors, they’d also like to know how it makes money.

So let’s take the above example, and rephrase it into something that can be pitched in an elevator setting.

“We’ve developed a mobile app that lets you know where your friends are on a map. It’s great for trying to meet up with people and can help you navigate unknown areas, find meetings, and the like. We monetize via Mobile Advertising.”

And that’s it. No long elaborate explanations, no technical details, just what we do, what it offers, and how we plan to make money off of it. Now whether or not this idea is a good one, is a different story all together, but being able to summarize what it does in a sentence is the most important part of any elevator pitch. You get your message across clearly, effectively and quickly.

To summarize.

  • Stay away from lengthy explanations that can be confusing.
  • Cut away all industry jargon.
  • Get to the point and keep it simple.
  • Say what you do, how it fulfills a need, and how you monetize it.
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