elevator pitch
Public Domain from pixabay

“Oh elevator pitch, how I love thee, let me count the ways”…

These were Shakespears’s first words written in his first play… Ok maybe not, but it should have been.

A great elevator pitch is truly a sight to behold. It can open doors, and create connections that were just closed a moment beforehand.

And a terrible elevator pitch can leave your audience confused, befuddled, and baffled.

So how do you create a great elevator pitch?

Read below to find out…

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name.

They should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. They also need to explain what makes you – or your organization, product, or idea – unique.

When to Use an Elevator Pitch

Some people think that this kind of thing is only useful for salespeople who need to pitch their products and services. But you can also use them in other situations.

For example, you can use one to introduce your organization to potential clients or customers. You could use them in your organization to sell a new idea to your CEO, or to tell people about the change initiative that you’re leading. You can even craft one to tell people what you do for a living.

Creating an Elevator Pitch

It can take some time to get your pitch right. You’ll likely go through several versions before finding one that is compelling, and that sounds natural in conversation.

Follow these steps to create a great pitch, but bear in mind that you’ll need to vary your approach depending on what your pitch is about.

1. Identify Your Goal

Start by thinking about the objective of your pitch.

For instance, do you want to tell potential clients about your organization? Do you have a great new product idea that you want to pitch to an executive? Or do you want a simple and engaging speech to explain what you do for a living?

2. Explain What You Do

Start your pitch by describing what your organization does. Focus on the problems that you solve and how you help people. If you can, add information or a statistic that shows the value in what you do.

Get the Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive new career skills every week, plus get our latest offers and a free downloadable Personal Development Plan workbook.

Read our Privacy Policy

Ask yourself this question as you start writing: what do you want your audience to remember most about you?

Keep in mind that your pitch should excite you first; after all, if you don’t get excited about what you’re saying, neither will your audience. Your pitch should bring a smile to your face and quicken your heartbeat. People may not remember everything that you say, but they will likely remember your enthusiasm.

Example:

Imagine that you’re creating an elevator pitch that describes what your company does. You plan to use it at networking events. You could say, “My company writes mobile device applications for other businesses.” But that’s not very memorable!

A better explanation would be, “My company develops mobile applications that businesses use to train their staff remotely. This results in a big increase in efficiency for an organization’s managers.”

That’s much more interesting, and shows the value that you provide to these organizations.

3. Communicate Your USP

Your elevator pitch also needs to communicate your unique selling proposition, or USP.

Identify what makes you, your organization, or your idea, unique. You’ll want to communicate your USP after you’ve talked about what you do.

Example:

To highlight what makes your company unique, you could say, “We use a novel approach because unlike most other developers, we visit each organization to find out exactly what people need. Although this takes a bit more time, it means that on average, 95 percent of our clients are happy with the first beta version of their app.”

4. Engage With a Question

After you communicate your USP, you need to engage your audience. To do this, prepare open-ended questions (questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer) to involve them in the conversation.

Make sure that you’re able to answer any questions that he or she may have.

Example:

You might ask “So, how does your organization handle the training of new people?”

5. Put It All Together

When you’ve completed each section of your pitch, put it all together.

Then, read it aloud and use a stopwatch to time how long it takes. It should be no longer than 20-30 seconds. Otherwise, you risk losing the person’s interest, or monopolizing the conversation.

Then, try to cut out anything doesn’t absolutely need to be there. Remember, your pitch needs to be snappy and compelling, so the shorter it is, the better!

Example:

Here’s how your pitch could come together:

“My company develops mobile applications that businesses use to train their staff remotely. This means that senior managers can spend time on other important tasks.

“Unlike other similar companies, we visit each organization to find out exactly what people need. This means that, on average, 95 percent of our clients are happy with the first version of their app.

“So, how does your organization handle the training of new people?”

6. Practice

Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Remember, how you say it is just as important as what you say. If you don’t practice, it’s likely that you’ll talk too fast, sound unnatural, or forget important elements of your pitch.

Set a goal to practice your pitch regularly. The more you practice, the more natural your pitch will become. You want it to sound like a smooth conversation, not an aggressive sales pitch.

Make sure that you’re aware of your body language as you talk, which conveys just as much information to the listener as your words do. Practice in front of a mirror or, better yet, in front of colleagues until the pitch feels natural.

As you get used to delivering your pitch, it’s fine to vary it a little – the idea is that it doesn’t sound too formulaic or like it’s pre-prepared, even though it is!

Tip 1:

You may want to keep small takeaway items with you, which you can give to people after you’ve delivered your pitch. For example, these could be business cards or brochures that talk about your product idea or business.

Tip 2:

Remember to tailor your pitch for different audiences, if appropriate.

Key Points

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you can use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use one to create interest in a project, idea, or product.

It needs to be succinct, while conveying important information.

To craft a great pitch, follow these steps.

  • Identify your goal.
  • Explain what you do.
  • Communicate your USP.
  • Engage with a question.
  • Put it all together.
  • Practice.

via Crafting an Elevator Pitch – Communications Skills From …

Your elevator speech should be brief. Restrict the speech to 30-60 seconds. You don’t need to include your entire work history and career objectives. Your pitch should be a short recap of who you are and what you do.

You need to be persuasive. Even though it’s a short pitch, your elevator speech should be compelling enough to spark the listener’s interest in your idea, organization, or background.

Share your skills. Your elevator pitch should explain who you are and what qualifications and skills you have. Try to focus on assets that add value in many situations. This is your chance to brag a bit — avoid sounding boastful, but do share what you bring to the table.

Practice, practice, practice. The best way to feel comfortable about giving an elevator speech is to practice it until the speed and “pitch” come naturally, without sounding robotic. You will get used to varying the conversation as you practice doing so. The more you practice, the easier it will be to deliver it when you’re at a career networking event or job interview.

Practice giving your speech to a friend or recording it. This will help you know whether you’re keeping within the time limit and giving a coherent message.

Be positive and flexible. You often aren’t interviewing for a specific position when you deliver your pitch, so you want to appear open-minded and flexible. Don’t lead with the stuff you’d rather not be doing. (For example, if you don’t want to travel a lot for work, that’s completely legitimate – but you needn’t volunteer that information right off the bat.) This is your chance to make a great first impression with a potential employer. Don’t waste it.

Mention your goals. You don’t need to get too specific. An overly targeted goal isn’t helpful since your pitch will be used in many circumstances, and with many different types of people. But do remember to say what you’re looking for. For instance, you might say, “a role in accounting” or “an opportunity to apply my sales skills to a new market” or “to relocate to San Francisco with a job in this same industry.”

Know your audience, and speak to them. In some cases, using jargon can be a powerful move — it demonstrates your industry knowledge. But be wary of using jargon during an elevator pitch, particularly if you’re speaking to recruiters, who may find the terms unfamiliar and off-putting. Keep it simple and focused.

Have a business card ready. If you have a business card, offer it at the end of the conversation as a way to continue the dialog. If you don’t, you could offer to use your smartphone to share your contact information. A copy of your resume, if you’re at a job fair or a professional networking event, will also demonstrate your enthusiasm and preparedness.

What Not to Say and Do During Your Elevator Speech

Don’t speak too fast. Yes, you only have a short time to convey a lot of information. But don’t try to fix this dilemma by speaking quickly. This will only make it hard for listeners to absorb your message.

Avoid rambling. This is why it’s so important to practice your elevator speech. While you don’t want to over-rehearse, and subsequently sound stilted, you also don’t want to have unfocused or unclear sentences in your pitch, or get off-track. Give the person you’re talking to an opportunity to interject or respond.

Don’t frown, or speak in a monotone way. Here’s one of the downsides to rehearsing: it can leave you more focused on remembering the exact words you want to use, and less on how you’re carrying yourself. Keep your energy level high, confident, and enthusiastic.

Modulate your voice to keep listeners interested, keep your facial expression friendly, and smile.

Don’t restrict yourself to a single elevator pitch. Maybe you’re interested in pursuing two fields — public relations and content strategy. Many of your communication skills will apply to both those fields, but you’ll want to tailor your pitch depending on who you are speaking to. You may also want to have a more casual, personal pitch prepared for social settings.

Elevator Pitch Examples

Use these examples as guidelines in crafting your own elevator pitch. Make sure your speech includes details on your background, as well as what you’d provide an employer with:

  • I recently graduated from college with a degree in communications. I worked on the college newspaper as a reporter, and eventually, as the editor of the arts section. I’m looking for a job that will put my skills as a journalist to work.
  • I have a decade’s worth of experience in accounting, working primarily with small and midsize firms. If your company is ever in need of an extra set of hands, I’d be thrilled to consult.
  • My name is Bob, and after years of working at other dentists’ offices, I’m taking the plunge and opening my own office. If you know anyone who’s looking for a new dentist, I hope you’ll send them my way!
  • I create illustrations for websites and brands. My passion is coming up with creative ways to express a message, and drawing illustrations that people share on social media.
  • I’m a lawyer with the government, based out of D.C. I grew up in Ohio, though, and I’m looking to relocate closer to my roots, and join a family-friendly firm. I specialize in labor law and worked for ABC firm before joining the government.
  • My name is Sarah, and I run a trucking company. It’s a family-owned business, and we think the personal touch makes a big difference to our customers. Not only do we guarantee on-time delivery, but my father and I personally answer the phones, not an automated system.

via How to Create an Elevator Pitch With Examples

What Not to Do in an Elevator Pitch

Before we look at some good examples, let’s look at what not to do.

1. The Rambler

Length of Pitch: 45 seconds

I’ve been a rep at Sales-R-Us for five years now. They’re the best company I’ve ever worked for. I’ve loved my time there. I started as a BDR and have worked my way up to a senior position. I’ve never looked back. I also love the services we sell. I can’t wait to tell you about them. Sales-R-Us helps companies become more efficient with their sales through training, evaluation, leadership management, and that’s just to name a few. We have a unique approach that’s been honed by lots of sales experts over the years, and I’ve seen our solution really help a lot of companies and teams. I’ve had a many clients whose businesses have been saved because of our genius solution. I know we can do the same for you. Would you be interested in learning more?

This elevator pitch is not effective because:

  • It’s way too long
  • The rep spends way too much time talking about himself
  • It never gets specific or actionable
  • It never provides actual examples or attention-grabbing facts

30 Second Elevator Pitch Examples

1. An Attention-Grabbing Question

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

breaking down "the question" elevator pitch into: ask a question, empathize, pivot, add value

Has your boss ever asked you to “whip up a quick report before the end of the day”? You say yes with a sinking heart — because you know it’ll be the opposite of quick. The founders of my company, AnswerASAP, constantly dealt with this problem in their roles as marketing executives. So they created a tool that puts all your data in one place and creates unique reports within 30 seconds or less.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It grabs your attention with a question
  • It reminds you of an annoying — and frequent — pain
  • It demonstrates empathy for your situation
  • It’s straightforward and doesn’t use jargon

2. The Credibility Boost

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

As an account executive for AnswerASAP, I talk to hundreds of marketers per month. And 99% of them hate creating reports. It’s time-consuming, it’s tedious, and it’s usually not your highest priority. That’s where our tool comes in — it pulls from all of your data to create any report you want in less than the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It demonstrates the speaker’s authority
  • It reinforces how strongly you hate making reports
  • It uses a common metaphor to highlight the tool’s ease-of-use

3. The Surprise Ending

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

You want to know how many leads from your webinar campaign became customers versus leads from your trade show booth. But only customers who bought two products — and weren’t already in your database.

How long would it take you to create that report?

If you had AnswerASAP, a data and reporting tool, you’d already know. It creates reports in a matter of seconds.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It has a “surprise ending”
  • It illustrates how valuable the product is in a creative way
  • It forces you to compare your current situation to a better world

4. An Outlandish Stat

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

breaking down the statistic elevator pitch example: use a stat for the problem, ask them a question, provide social proof

Your marketing team members will each spend approximately 8,730 minutes of their work year putting together reports. Across your teams and departments, how much money can you save if you took that chore off their to-do lists with AnswerASAP, the reporting tool that automatically pulls your data into an easy-to-read (and send) dashboard? We’ve saved companies thousands of dollars per year, and they’re operating more efficiently than ever.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It grabs your attention with numbers while aggravating a pain
  • It makes you realize the true productivity cost of reporting
  • It sparks your frustration

5. The Short and Sweet

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

The founders of my company were originally marketers. The worst part of their day, by far, was … Want to take a guess? No, it wasn’t arguing with Sales. They detested making reports. I don’t blame them. You know what a pain in the neck it is. That’s why they created AnswerASAP. You can literally create any report you want in a matter of seconds.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It’s short and sweet
  • It explains the inspiration for the product
  • It includes the company’s origin story, which is scientifically proven to make it 22 times more memorable

6. A Customer Story

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

Siena Rosen, a marketer at Dunder Mifflin, used to spend 30 minutes per day manually creating reports. Now that she uses AnswerASAP, that’s gone down to four minutes. She’s making twice as many reports in less time. Our tool helps marketers like Siena answer any question on their mind (or their boss’s) nearly instantly. If you’re curious, I can explain more.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It uses a customer example to give the product credibility
  • It shows a clear and compelling “before and after”
  • It demonstrates value
  • It gives you a chance to say, “Sure, tell me more,” or “I’m good, thank you.”

7. The Reality Check

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

breaking down the reality check elevator pitch example: state the problem, aggravate it, tease solution, add value

Every day, the average marketer spends half an hour putting together reports. Most of the time, these reports are barely glanced at — or worse, ignored altogether. AnswerASAP, which stores all of your data from every tool your business uses, is a game-changer here. Just type what report you want: For example, “A bar chart of revenue from every lead source in the past month.” You’ll get your report in 30 seconds.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It makes you realize the true productivity cost of reporting
  • It sparks your frustration
  • It helps you understand exactly how the product works with a simple example

8. The Joke

Length of Pitch: 20 seconds

How many marketers does it take to do monthly reporting? None if they’ve automated the process with AnswerASAP. Each employee that uses this tool saves 30 minutes per day on average, which is time they can spend on marketing tasks more worthy of their time such as improving performance on campaigns and increasing ROI across the board.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It engages the audience (at least, if you use a joke that’s actually funny)
  • It provides instant relatability
  • It draws on a known truth about the industry and positions an unexpected solution

9. The Emotional Appeal

Length of Pitch: 30 seconds

When I started my career in marketing, I thought I would be making a difference for my organization right away, but as the junior member of the team, all the reporting and administrative tasks were pushed onto me. I was spending so much time creating reports for key stakeholders that could’ve been diverted to more important revenue-generating activities. If you’re not using AnswerASAP, you’re spending too much of the organization’s time, money, and talent on something that can be generated by our tool on-demand in 30 seconds.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It evokes emotion and empathy through storytelling
  • It establishes a pain or problem you can relate to
  • It draws a hard-hitting conclusion as a natural “moral of the story”

10. The One-Liner

Length of Pitch: 10 seconds

breaking down the one-liner elevator pitch example: demonstrate value, explain the advantage, tell the feature

AnswerASAP saves marketers time by eliminating the tediousness of data-gathering and formatting to create beautiful marketing reports in less than 30 seconds.

This elevator pitch is effective because:

  • It demonstrates the company’s value proposition
  • It is short and sweet if you need to get to the point

Remember, an elevator pitch should only come at someone else’s prompting. If you’re spontaneously reciting it to random people, you’re not doing yourself any favors. But if they ask, you want to be prepared with an interesting, well-crafted pitch.

via 10 Elevator Pitch Examples to Inspire Your Own

 

» Get a Covid-19 Small Business Bounce Back Kit