- Tell them what you`re going to say (Elevator pitch, Executive summary, or Introduction)
- Say what you have to say (Content)
- Tell them what you just said (Summary).
Now consider e-commerce and Web sites.
These three coordinated steps apply in different ways. For example, your introduction can be on the main landing page of a Web site. The content then would be the next-many pages. Is there a summary? Would you say that the shopping cart is the summary?
How about a different example. You can use a blog, Squidoo lens, or other form out off-site content as your introduction. That`s like a 10-second elevator pitch. Then your main Web site would offer you time to get in to the more detailed content.
But where`s the summary?
Think of an elevator pitch as a fast-blast introduction. You really don`t need to get into all the details. If your pitch is successful, then you`ll have piqued the interest of your listener. Then you can get into the details!
So if you have a short elevator pitch, where do you get into all those details?
Many Web sites don`t take into consideration this basic format of audience interaction. Some don`t have any content at all, just a listing of their product or service. They`ve told nobody what they intend to do or say, never explain it, and have no summary. Few people ever remain interested in those sites.
Could we say that the Summary is a "Call to Action?" After your audience has become interested, they`ve read what you`ve had to say, how about this: "To summarize, we`ve learned that this is important, and now you should click this link."
On the other hand, many people try to cram their main content into a vehicle designed only for a summary. They send around a sales letter with everything in the kitchen sink.
The whole point of a sales pitch, elevator pitch, or even certain kinds of sales letters and press releases is to attract interest. All you want is to get everyone`s eyes focused on you, their minds ready to accept information, and a sense of interest. AFTER you have people`s attention, that`s when you get into the details.
I`m doing a project involving CIOs and how they make presentations to the Board of Directors. The key warning is that board members really aren`t interested in "how" something happens. They only want to know that someone is in charge and the problem is being fixed.
In a board presentation, details are part of an attachment that may or may not be looked at later. The presentation itself should be quick, complete, and in simple language say, "Here`s our situation and here`s how we have it resolved." Even there, in five or ten minutes, the same three steps apply.
Where on your Web site do you introduce "the situation?" It isn`t the same as a "problem statement." Instead, it`s a brief introduction of your solution. A problem is something anyone can have. The offer statement is what your target audience specifically wants or needs.
Most importantly; do you have a Summary? Have you "told them what you just told them?" What should they do next?
These three steps can be applied to a single "Home" page, or they can be applied to the entire Web site. They also can be applied across multiple information streams. A blog might be the brief reference, with the Web site being the details.