Elevator Pitch: Maximum Effect - Minimum Time

What is an elevator pitch? History says this type of self-presentation emerged about 100 years ago on Wall Street. Two young entrepreneurs had the only opportunity to meet and briefly give their idea to an investor who was late for a meeting. In a couple of minutes, they were able to introduce their project so that he agreed to invest one hundred thousand dollars in it. Thanks to this investment, Google has appeared.

An elevator pitch or elevator speech is a short and vivid presentation of a concept, a product, a project, or a service. The term reflects the limited time frame - the length of this presentation should be such that it has to be given while the elevator moves. That is, the speech should last about a minute or so and consist of no more than one hundred and fifty words.

At present, interested presenters sometimes wait for their listeners for hours. When the elevator door is opened, everybody comes in. Willy-nilly, a wealthy tycoon has to listen to suppliants for a couple of minutes while the elevator is in motion. The main point is that this important person has to be quickly impressed by the idea. Arousing interest matters, and then, all details can be discussed at the meeting.

Everyone who wants to establish business contacts should know how to write an elevator pitch. It is incredibly valuable for those who are looking for a new job, promotion, or investment. It can also be useful for entrepreneurs working in the field of sales, marketing, and advertising. Both the quality of this speech and the presentation level are of paramount importance to the startup leader seeking funding.

Elevator Speech Structure

In just a minute, you need to convey the idea about the product or service, its potential profitability, and other benefits for the person in front of you. Prepare a hook in the form of an intriguing statement or an open question. A perfect elevator pitch example should have a couple of strong arguments in favor of your product, service, or company. So, how to write an elevator pitch? By its structure, this mini-speech usually consists of five elements:

  • Company name or self-presentation;

  • An idea about what your product or service is;

  • The target buyers of your products;

  • The solution of how to improve or make life easier for your clients;

  • What is the difference from other companies, and why is your product exceptional?

To present your company's advantages and its strong points to someone, you should first understand what you really are. Think about what you can say about yourself to penetrate and take your place in the mind of another person. The person you will be talking to may be the ideal recipient of your message, or your words can be conveyed to other interested people. Here, the first sentence is of great importance. It would be good if your last or first name is catchy and easy-to-remember.

Write down what exactly you are doing. What are the goals of your company? Why are you doing this? How are you different from your competitors? How do you benefit your clients, the environment, and the world in general? The more detailed and honest your speech is, the better. Correct mistakes and add colloquial phrases to make your presentation natural. When the text is ready, reduce it to several sentences. Concentrate the essence in a few words to draw the attention of the target person to it.

You can mention some impressive facts, indicators, essential features, and particular benefits. Think over a call to action, such as contact exchanging, next meeting appointment, day and time for the phone call, and so on. Please note that this presentation's primary purpose is not just to sell a product or service but to move on to future interaction with an essential person on whom a lot depends. Also, you can figure out in advance whether you will get what you want or not.

Presentation Format

The elevator pitch format can vary depending on different scenarios. First, you should take into consideration for whom this presentation is prepared. This speech should be tailored individually. Each investor or tycoon needs a personal approach. Someone can be interested in the idea itself, its originality, and its innovativeness. Another person is only focused on the financial side of the matter. With the third one, you can talk informally, and an official tone is entirely unacceptable to them.

Secondly, the presentation format depends on what auxiliary elements you have. Do you have ready-made samples of the product of your future company with you for a demonstration? Do you have additional materials to support your words? Third, take into account the number of persons involved in this conversation. Are you going to speak alone, or will your partner help you? It is easier to act together, but this requires more thorough preparation and coordination of actions.

Elevator Pitch Secrets

Imagine that you come across a potential and essential sponsor in a situation where time is limited. The circumstances can require you to describe the essence of an offer in a nutshell. Most importantly, you may need to make a great first impression. The secret of all elevator pitches lies in a proper arrangement, natural persuasiveness, and a business card prepared in advance. Once the speech is appropriately designed, you can get new patrons on your side whenever you manage to meet them.

First of all, draw up a plan for your elevator speech based on the fact that you will be limited in time. The best improvisation should be well-rehearsed. Test your one-minute presentation on your friends or colleagues. Consider not only the time but the reaction produced. Discuss the speech with your listeners and ask them to be honest about their impressions. Try to identify dull or blurry spots together and replace them with more emotional and specific ones.

When preparing an elevator pitch, you should have in mind the following points:

  • Make sure that your speech is clear and understandable even for a child.

  • Focus only on the essence and avoid all unnecessary and incomprehensible details.

  • Think about what questions the target person might have and be ready to answer them briefly in advance.

  • Refer to the essential needs of the listener.

  • Add an element of intrigue to your presentation.

You only have a chance to engage another person if the project inspires you. So, try to radiate inspiration and maybe even passion. During your performance, some unplanned situation or force majeure may happen. Therefore, be prepared to adapt the ready template for any situation. Be open, react quickly, and offer the best solution.

Your presentation should arouse a desire to ask some questions at the end. However, avoid a situation where only questions remain without a hint of answers. A specific incident or story can be proof of your words. An unexpected and emotional fact will always emphasize the importance of your project in another person's eyes. However, if your words will sound too formal, you may be considered uptight, perhaps even insincere.


A good elevator pitch example can be considered an annotation on the book covers. A brief and catchy description is the main point to pay attention to when choosing a book. It is the main impetus for buying and reading it. Also, you can use an elevator pitch prepared in advance anywhere and anytime. Such a speech can be relevant in many life situations. For example, it can be useful for a man who meets his future wife's father at dinner or responds to a request to tell about himself at a job interview.

It can also be an oral statement during a job interview, a post on a social network, or a speech to the theater director for participation in a play. Only you can tell about your unique advantages with a particular twist and vivid colors. Thus, it is worth bringing your speech to perfection. If you are not a natural speaker, you can achieve this with daily practice. Who knows when exactly you will meet the necessary person in the elevator? It is crucial not to miss your chance.

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