Regardless of whether you're  selling a product or service, you need to be able to communicate what it is as well as its benefits in under 60 seconds. This "elevator pitch" not only needs to be informative but also exciting and interesting to listen to.

One small misstep and you could lose your listeners attention or botch the pitch entirely. That's why I'm here to share five tips to help make your elevator pitch the best it can be.

Let's get started...

1. Answer these two questions.

Your elevator pitch needs to be concise. That means cutting all the fluff and focusing on only the essentials. To do that effectively, you need to answer these two questions: "What do you do?" and "Why are you the best at it?". These questions are to be your north star when devising your elevator pitch. If at any point you find yourself adding something to the pitch that does not succinctly answer either of these questions, you should consider removing it.

2. It's more than what you say.

Listen to any of the best speakers in the world (e.g. Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuck) and you'll realize that it's not just what they're saying that makes them a great speaker but how they say it. Body language, inflection, emphasis, and passion all play a huge part in a successful elevator pitch. You're not just saying something, you're performing. By doing this you get your message across and keep them interested at the same time. This leads to a much better chance that they'll actually remember what you've said after all is said and done.

3. Leave room for personalization.

While your elevator pitch is a performance of sorts, you shouldn't just memorize your lines and regurgitate them on command. To make a lasting impact on the listener, you need to personalize it to fit them. This doesn't mean you need to recreate your elevator pitch for every single person but rather include brief nuggets of information that connect back to the listener so it makes a stronger connection with them.

4. Practice a lot.

Practice, practice, practice and practice again. You need your elevator pitch to roll effortlessly off of your tongue. To do this, it needs to be ingrained in your brain to the point where it is second nature to say it when someone asks "What do you do?" or "How can you help us?". The best way for you to practice is with someone else. It may seem silly but you need to set the stage correctly for rehearsing with proper body language, eye contact, etc. Only with someone else listening and watching you can they provide you with the critical feedback you need to improve.

5. End with a question.

An elevator pitch isn't about you. It is about how you can best serve the person you're talking to, whether that is through a product or service that you're selling. When the elevator pitch ends, you don't want to be standing in silence. Ease the transition into a conversation by asking a question. This will get the listener talking about themselves and their needs, which will allow you to tailor the rest of your pitch/conversation to what they are looking for.