In today's fast-paced, TikTok-saturated world, you must communicate your ideas, mission, and value proposition in a concise, compelling way. Enter the elevator pitch.
Whether you're a consultant, realtor, restaurateur, or something else entirely, a well-crafted elevator pitch can make or break your company's success. And with the help of our handy worksheet, you can take your elevator pitch all the way from the ground floor to the penthouse.
What Is an Elevator Pitch and Who Should Use One?
An elevator pitch is a persuasive speech that summarizes who you are, what you do, and what you can offer, all in two minutes or less.
The name "elevator pitch" originates from the concept of delivering your pitch during an elevator ride. For example, a job seeker can deliver an elevator pitch to a prospective employer or an entrepreneur to a potential investor. As such, an elevator pitch is a powerful tool that allows you to capture someone's attention, make a memorable first impression, and spark your audience's interest.
But despite its name, an elevator pitch doesn't have to take place within the confines of an actual elevator. If you've ever seen "Shark Tank," you've witnessed entrepreneurs giving elevator pitches to the "sharks" (the investors) in order to impress and receive funding. Depending on the circumstances, your elevator pitch could be delivered at
industry conferences, investor meetings, networking events, and more.
You can even use your elevator pitch when applying for one of our Entrepreneur Grants for new, budding businesses.
So, who should use an elevator pitch? Anyone looking to gain new clients, gain the attention of investors, or secure business contacts should have a solid elevator pitch in their arsenal.
How to Write Your Elevator Pitch in 7 Steps
Writing an effective elevator pitch script requires careful thought and planning. The following key steps can help guide you through the process:
1. Clarify Your Objective
Before you start writing your elevator pitch, clearly define your objective. For example, are you trying to land a new client, secure funding for your business, or establish connections in your industry?
Whatever the case may be, spell out your objective to create a pitch tailored to achieving your ideal outcome.
2. Know Your Audience
Understand whomever you'll deliver your elevator pitch to, and carefully consider their needs, interests, and priorities.
For instance, an elevator pitch geared toward potential homeowner clients should sound very different than a pitch intended for venture capitalists who have the power to invest in your business.
Adjusting your pitch to resonate with your audience can increase the chances of capturing their attention and eliciting a positive response. To better understand your audience and build a strong brand, consider studying customer data, creating buyer personas, and conducting your own market research.
3. Craft a Compelling Opening
Start your elevator pitch with a hook that grabs attention and makes the listener want to hear more.
This could be a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact about yourself, an amusing statement, or an intriguing statistic. The goal is to make an immediate impact and pique curiosity, not to simply state your name and occupation as if you were filling out a form.
Even if your pitch opens with an introduction, aim to deliver it in a creative, original way.
4. Highlight Your Value Proposition
Somewhere in the body of your elevator pitch, make sure to clearly and succinctly communicate the unique value proposition (UVP), which defines what you and your business bring to the table.
Focus on the benefits and outcomes you can deliver rather than simply listing your skills or qualifications. Make it clear how you can solve a problem or meet your audience's needs, and indicate why you're the best person to do the job.
5. Tell a Story
Humans are wired to follow and pay attention to stories, so incorporate storytelling techniques into your elevator pitch to make it more engaging and memorable.
To do this, try sharing a brief anecdote or using a metaphor to illustrate your point and create an emotional connection with your audience.
If you want to make your pitch even more story-like, try writing it with a beginning, middle, and end in mind. You might be surprised by just how compelling the results are.
6. Mention Your Accomplishments
If you've managed to secure any accomplishments, awards, or success stories that demonstrate your expertise and credibility, mention at least one of them in your pitch.
Compelling examples of moments where you've excelled can make your pitch more convincing and build trust with your audience.
7. End With a Specific Call to Action
Conclude your elevator pitch by clearly stating what you want your audience to do next. Whether it's scheduling a meeting, exchanging contact information, or exploring a potential collaboration, provide a specific call to action (CTA) to help move the conversation forward.
In other words, don't say:
"I hope to talk to you soon."
"See you around."
"Let me know if you're interested."
Instead, say something like:
"Here's my number, let's set up a call this week."
"Visit my website and use this code for a discount."
"Shoot me an email and we can set up a meeting."
30-Second Elevator Pitch Examples + Free Template
Here are a few examples of well-crafted elevator pitch scripts. You can also get our free downloadable elevator pitch template to get started.
"Want to get your car detailed but don't have the time to leave it at the shop for hours? Well, what if the shop came to you? I'll make your car look as good as new, and you'll never even have to leave the house. Give me a call this week and we can set up an appointment."
Why it's effective: You pose a question that your audience can relate to, introduce a problem they likely have, and explain how you can provide a solution.
"The average salesperson spends 30% of their time pursuing unqualified leads. That's why I created Leadsy, a lead management tool that can help you waste less time and land more sales. We're offering a seven-day free trial — just visit our website today and claim yours."
Why it's effective: A compelling statistic grabs attention and piques interest, all while lending credibility to the solution your business provides.
The Emphasized Experience
"I've cleaned the homes of dozens of local families, and more than three-quarters of them have become repeat clients. I'd love to show you why, so use this coupon to get 15% off your first full-house cleaning."
Why it's effective: You're able to establish experience and authority right off the bat, which makes your audience more willing to give your business a shot. Bonus: Add a discount to catch their attention.
What Not to Do in an Elevator Pitch
While knowing what to include in your elevator pitch is crucial, it's equally important to be aware of common pitfalls to avoid. Here are a few things you should never say when delivering your elevator pitch:
Don't Be Vague
Your elevator pitch should be concise, but it shouldn't lack substance. Avoid using generic statements that could apply to anyone. Instead, focus on specific and tangible results you've achieved or unique aspects of your offering.
In the same vein, don't let your CTA be wishy-washy. Instead, tell your audience exactly what they should do to enjoy the benefits your business has to offer.
Don't Overuse Jargon
While it's essential to showcase your expertise, bombarding your audience with industry jargon can make your pitch alienating or even off-putting.
Be sure to use clear, straightforward language that anyone can understand, and focus on the value and impact of your work rather than the number of buzzwords you know.
Don't Fail to Adapt
Remember that you should adapt your pitch and tailor it to the specific needs and interests of the person or group you're addressing.
For example, a pitch geared toward investors might contain information about your business's profit margins. That's just the kind of thing a venture capitalist would be interested in, but if you say the same thing to a consumer who you hope will buy your product, they'll likely be more confused than compelled.
So, be sure to plan how you'll adapt your elevator pitch to suit different audiences.
Don't Fail to Practice
Practice makes perfect, so don't forget to rehearse your elevator pitch repeatedly. This will help you identify areas you want to change, enhance the parts you like, and ensure your delivery is confident and convincing.
You can practice with friends, family, pets, or even your own reflection — just about anyone who will listen will make for a helpful trial audience.
Don't Take Too Long
The point of an elevator pitch is to deliver a concise and impactful message. Avoid rambling about your business ideas or going off on tangents about your day-to-day duties — these can dilute your core message.
Stay within the designated time limit, respect your audience's time, and remember that your goal is to leave them interested in learning more.
Find Your Perfect Pitch
The next time you find yourself in an elevator, at a networking event, or in any other situation where you have a brief period of time to make a lasting impression, be ready with your well-crafted elevator pitch. It might just take you all the way to the top.
The first place you can put your elevator pitch to use? Applying for our entrepreneur grants. You could get $2,500 to use for your business.
Carrie Buchholz-Powers is a Colorado-based writer who’s been creating content since 2013. From digital marketing to ecommerce to land conservation, she has experience in a wide range of fields and loves learning about them all. Carrie is fond of history, animals and beauty in equal measure. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, playing video games and exploring Colorado's prairies and mountains with her husband.