There are many facets when it comes to growing your business, and one of the key components to building success is mastering your elevator pitch.

It’s a simple concept: that one-off chance you walk into an elevator occupied by a person who can provide a lifechanging opportunity for you. The catch is, you’ve only got the duration of that elevator ride to get them onboard.

So, what do you say?

Many entrepreneurs have achieved the height of success from their ability to make a good pitch, being charismatic and knowing how their innovation solves their customers’ problem. On the other hand, there have been many missed opportunities due to people being unprepared, flustered or not having the knack to draw people in and wanting more.

One of the most typical mistakes small business leaders do when pitching their business is they focus too much on their offering or solution. Their pitch will not be effective and will not yield results if it fails to engage the audience. How is this relevant to the audience and the problems they are trying to solve? What is your key message? Is your language full of buzzwords or is it easy to understand across different stakeholders?

Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) CEO Petr Adamek sees firsthand how a successful pitch can land an entrepreneur a major investment deal or connection.

“Our message is quite simple: be yourself and talk in a way that’s authentic to you,” he says. “You will feel more comfortable doing this than trying to say things in a way that isn’t natural for you.”

Petr says pitching may not come naturally to most people, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be good at it.

“The pressures of an audience, tech and the ambiance of presenting on a stage can create genuine fear,” he says. “My biggest piece of advice is know your content, know your audience and practice.”

Practice and preparation is key when it comes to an effective pitch. With enough experience, you’ll be able to flawlessly pitch for any occasion, and, most importantly, for anyone.

This article was originally published on RiotACT.