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Elevator Pitch 101

It's called an "Elevator Pitch" because it describes the challenge: "How would you explain your art and make a sale if fate placed you in an elevator with your dream patron and you only had the time it takes to get from the top of the building to the bottom?"

You only have 30-60 seconds to make a powerful first impression. The attention span of the average person is just 30 seconds before their mind starts wandering. You need to grab them quickly or lose them forever. Your message, your story, your inspiration for creating is what's important.

Whether it is for a patron or a festival's judge, honing an elevator pitch is a great way to sell yourself and your work.

Below are some broad strokes to keep in mind when crafting your speech...

  • Your elevator pitch needs to be current, who you are, and what your work is, in the present moment. Tell your history, but sharing the fact you won the superlative for best artist at your high school won't be helpful.

  • The speech should be memorized, and genuine. Just because it is memorized does not mean it cannot change. You must be able to adapt to the situation at hand.. Adding or removing content, dependent on the audience might be necessary.

  • Explain in simple terms (relative to the audience) why your work is different, and more importantly unique. If you can't say why or how your work is special, you can't expect any judge to think so either.

  • People want to hear you explain your process, from inspiration points to the final product.

  • Don't be afraid to ask other experienced artists for help, this is a friendly community. Being bold in the art world usually pays off.

  • Experiment with different focal points, the only way to know if a different talking point is effective is to test it on the market. You only have a short time with most customers, make sure you are using the most effective selling points.

  • Practice makes perfect, it is important to keep it tight and short. The speech should run 20-55 seconds with a perfect range of 30-45 seconds.

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