Elevator Pitch

Elevator pitch - ToolsHero

This article explains the Elevator Pitch in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful communication skills tool.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An Elevator Pitch, sales pitch or business pitch is a short and enthusiastic way in which an idea for a product, service or project is presented. The name reflects the time it takes for an elevator to go from the ground floor to the top floor, which is approximately 30 seconds to two minutes. Entrepreneurs first used this term when they attempted to convince a venture capitalist that their idea was worth investing in. Venture capitalists use the quality of the Elevator Pitch as a way to judge the quality of an idea and the team behind it.

An Elevator Pitch is also used for other purposes today, for example in networking situations. It may concern the sale of a product, seeking employment, speed dating or making a point quickly in a conversation. It is important to have an eye-catching presentation with ideas, comparisons and examples when delivering an elevator pitch, as presented in the AIDA-model (attention, interest, desire, action).

A successful Elevator Pitch is not just about presenting information and facts but it is also important to establish an emotional connection.

An effective Elevator Pitch should answer the following questions:

  • What is the product/service or project?
  • What is its use to the buyer/user?
  • Who are we?

Furthermore, it is important to take the following elements into account:

  • The content of the pitch
  • Verbal communication
  • Non-verbal communication

In addition, it is possible to target the goals of the Elevator Pitch such as the relevant market, the target group and the unique selling points of a product which set it apart from that of the competition.

Seven tips for a successful elevator pitch

1. Keep it short

An Elevator Pitch means that you are able to introduce your idea, product or service in the time it takes an elevator to go from the ground floor to the top floor. Your Elevator Pitch should be no longer than 30 seconds.

2. Study the target group and the situation

Each situation requires its own Elevator Pitch. Apart from preparing a general pitch you should prepare a number of specific pitches depending on the situation. An investment conference requires a different pitch than a purchasing conference or a conference where you are looking to find new customers.

3. Make an intriguing and powerful opening statement

Make a concise statement in which you solve a problem or fulfil a need. If you do not solve a problem or meet a requirement, it will be difficult to sell your product.

4. Promote the benefits

You are not pitching your idea, product or service. You are pitching the benefits of your idea or product.

5. Make it tangible

Do not say “ we are going to install your “Linksys Wireless router” but tell them that you will make sure that the wireless internet (of the Linksys brand) will work without a problem.

6. Be passionate

Investors also like to invest in people. Show them your enthusiasm, your passion.

7. Call to action

Finish your pitch with a so-called “call to action”. Tell them that you will call them, or plan a meeting or accompany them to their office to continue the conversation. Make sure there is a follow-up – If you say you will call a prospect to make an appointment, then do so within the next one or two days.

It’s Your Turn

What do you think? What is your experience with the Elevator Pitch? Do you recognize the content written above or do you have add-ons? What are your success factors for a good Elevator Pitch?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our Free Newsletter for the latest posts on Management models and methods. You can also find us on Facebook and Google+.

More information

  • Diaz, C. S. (2009, July). Teaching the techno-pitch: Taking student innovators beyond the elevator pitch. In Professional Communication Conference, 2009. IPCC 2009.
  • Faust, B., & Faust, M. (2002). Pitch Yourself: Stand Out from the CV Crowd with a Personal Elevator Pitch. Pearson Education. IEEE International (pp. 1-7). IEEE.
  • Pincus, A. (2007). The perfect (elevator) pitch. Bloomsberg Businessweek.
  • How to cite this article:
    Mulder, P. (2012). Elevator Pitch. Retrieved [insert date] from ToolsHero: https://www.toolshero.com/communication-skills/elevator-pitch/

    Add a link to this page on your website:
    <a href=”https://www.toolshero.com/communication-skills/elevator-pitch/”>ToolsHero.com: Elevator Pitch</a>

    Did you find this article interesting?
    Your rating is more than welcome or share this article via Social media!

    Elevator Pitch, 4.50 / 5 (2 votes)

    Patty Mulder
    About the Author

    Patty Mulder is an Dutch expert on Management Skills, Time Management, Personal Effectiveness and Business Communication. She is also a Content writer, Business Coach and Company Trainer and lives in the Netherlands (Europe).
    Note: all her articles are written in Dutch and we translated her articles in English!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *