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6 Steps for Writing a Powerful Elevator Pitch
Alyssa Gregory is an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer with 20 years of experience in the business world. She is the founder of the Small Business Bonfire, a community for entrepreneurs, and has authored more than 2,500 articles for The Balance and other popular small business websites.
The Balance / Cindy Chung
An elevator pitch is an overview of your business, and, as the name implies, it is delivered in the time it takes to complete your average elevator ride. It can be one of the simplest yet most powerful marketing tools for a small business owner.
When delivering your elevator pitch, the goal is to be short and snappy to entice your would-be prospect to want to know more about your business. The length can vary, but you typically want to be able to present your elevator pitch comfortably without rushing in 30 seconds or less.
How to Write an Elevator Pitch
The elevator pitch goes beyond sharing what it is you do. Instead, the goal is to intrigue your lead so that they want to know more. So, instead of saying, "I'm a virtual assistant," you might say, "I help busy small business owners get more done, in less time, to earn more profits." Any small business owners who heard that would likely want to know how they could earn more by doing less.
Here is a six-step process to help you write an elevator pitch:
- Who Are You? Write one sentence about yourself. For example, you might introduce yourself as a consultant to small business owners.
- What You Do or Offer? Use your mission statement and product/service listing as a guide, and write a sentence or two about what you do every day in your business. If your emphasis is on time-saving techniques, state briefly how your strategies work.
- What Problem Do You Solve? Identify the value you offer to your customers or clients. Avoid listing only your features, and instead, translate them into benefits.
- How You Are Different? Use your unique selling proposition (USP) as a guide and write about what sets you apart from every other business owner who does what you do. Perhaps you've had relevant experiences and overcome them yourself or you have an uncommon strategy.
- Ask a Question: Elevator pitches are generally delivered in in-person situations, such as an elevator or networking event, which means you want to be social and engage your lead in a conversation. A great way to involve your lead is to ask a question that relates to your lead and your business. Using the virtual assistant question, you might ask, "What business activity do you find the most tedious?"
- Give a Call to Action: Once your pitch is done, give the lead something to do next in a call to action , such as take your business card. Briefly let your audience know what they can do to follow up and hear more. Provide a means for further contact or for scheduling a meeting.
Putting Your Elevator Pitch Together
Once you've come up with something for each of the six steps, work with your responses to create up to a 30 second or 80- to 90-word pitch. Add transitions and edit your pitch until it flows conversationally and captures the most important information. For example, it might read something like this:
"Hi, I'm Sally Smith, a virtual assistant who helps busy small business owners get more done, in less time, to earn more profits. What business activity do you dislike doing the most?"
"Hi, I'm Sally Smith, I'm an accountant who helps people keep more of their hard earn money. Last year I helped my clients save over six-figures. Here's my card which lists the top tax deductions most people don't take advantage of."
The above examples are shorter than most, but they highlight your goal which is to give an indication of what you do and how you can be helpful to your lead.
Tips to Effective Elevator Pitches
There is a secret to a good elevator pitch which goes to the psychology of sales and marketing. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Know Your Audience
Get your lead talking first so you can learn something about them and their pain points so you can tailor your pitch to fit their needs. For example, if Sally Smith learned that a small business owner was buried under papers, she could say, "Hi, I'm Sally Smith, a virtual assistant who helps small business owners get their ducks in a row. My clients scan their paper items and I organize and file them for them, saving them time, money, and clutter."
Like all other forms of marketing, the more you can speak to your lead's needs, the greater the chance you'll entice them to want to learn more about your business.
Less Is More
There's a natural tendency to want to say everything about your business, but when you start getting into monologue territory, you risk boring or annoying your lead. Be pithy and hook your lead with information that will naturally lead them to ask about your business. Again, this is where describing your benefits, over your features can help.
Consider Leading With a Hook
A hook is an enticing statement that grabs attention. Your hook can be a question, such as, "You know how so many business owners waste time and money because they wear too many hats? I'm a virtual assistant that takes those hats so business people can focus on what they do best...make money."
Or your hook can be a benefit statement, "I help business owners work less and make more." Just saying that alone would likely have a business owner asking how you did that.
Create Opportunity for Follow Up
All marketing should provide you with a means of following up. That can come in the form of a call-to-action, in which your lead is asked to take a next step, such as, "Here's my card with my website where you can get my free guide on working less and making more."
Better yet, improve your chances of a follow up by getting your lead's information, "Can I have your card? I'll email you my free guide on working less and making more."
Call to Action (CTA)
Always end your conversation giving your lead something to do that will allow you to contact them again in the future.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Don't just write and read your elevator pitch, speak it out loud and practice. It needs to sound natural when you say it, otherwise, you'll come off as a salesman. When the opportunity comes, you want the pitch to flow like it's a natural part of the conversation. If you can't flow through the pitch, then rewrite it until it rolls off your tongue.
Like a business card, an elevator pitch is a quick, easy way to introduce your business to people you meet. But beyond just answering the question of, "What do you do," you want to use your pitch to create interest in your business, and turn a lead into a prospect .
Pepperdine University. " Preparing Your Elevator Speech ," Page 1. Accessed Jan. 17, 2020.
University of California, Davis. " The 30 Second Elevator Pitch, " Page 1. Accessed Jan. 17, 2020.
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How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Business [Template & Examples]
Written by Dave Lavinsky
What is an Elevator Pitch?
In the business world, an elevator pitch is a brief description of your business.
An elevator pitch is named as such because oftentimes you must describe your business succinctly; in an elevator pitch, you must describe your business within 30 to 60 seconds, about the time it takes to travel from the ground to the top floor in a short elevator ride.
6 Components of a Great Pitch
Your company’s elevator pitch should include the following:
- Who you are – Introduce yourself and your company.
- What you do – Describe what products and/or services you offer.
- How you’re different – Describe what makes your company different from its competitors.
- Why you’re the best – Explain your value proposition.
- What’s in it for them – Describe what your audience can gain by working with you.
- Call to action – Describe your desired outcome.
What Makes a Great Elevator Pitch?
A quality elevator pitch:
- Gets everyone in your company on the precise same page regarding what your business is and what the key objectives are.
- Allows everyone in your company to give a concise and consistent explanation of your business which leads to more customers.
- Allows investors, lenders, partners, etc., to quickly understand what you do and hopefully get excited to work with your business venture.
Below you’ll learn the 7 keys to writing an effective elevator pitch for a company with examples from successful companies.
Then you’ll see our elevator pitch template to allow you to skillfully create your own elevator pitch for your business.
Finish Your Business Plan in 1 Day!
Once you finish your elevator pitch, you should include it in your business plan.
7 Keys to Writing an Elevator Pitch with Examples
Below are a few tips to help you create an effective elevator pitch with examples from multiple industries.
1. Make Your Elevator Pitch Short
With elevator pitches, brevity and simplicity are the keys. Take this elevator pitch example:
This is the introductory statement of the elevator pitch of Sandy Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems. The entire business premise is explained in just three words. A tremendous feat but one that is achievable with practice and patience.
2. Make it Simple
Use straightforward language in your elevator pitch with the goal that someone with very limited knowledge about your industry can easily understand your value.
Celebrated investor Michael Moritz in his book Leading recalls founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s straightforward elevator pitch:
Moritz recalls being impressed with the crispness and clarity of the pitch. The lesson here is that your pitch needs to be concise but with a clear sense of purpose and direction, which makes it memorable and easy to deliver.
3. Hook Them with What Makes you Unique
Your elevator pitch should spark interest, arouse curiosity, and make people want to engage with you to know more about your business and/or idea. It should be creative and distinctive.
Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was a star presenter who perfected the art of the hook. At the 2007 iPhone launch he began his pitch with the following statement:
Similarly, Airbnb’s pitch clearly highlights their distinctive offering:
Once you have people hooked you can expand upon your idea, depending on the time you have.
4. Include Numbers in Your Pitch
Instead of industry jargon, incorporate numbers into your elevator pitch. Investors understand numbers and a single relevant data point can do most of the influencing for you.
Consider the premise of The Laundress, a non-toxic fabric care company founded in 2004 that sold to Unilever for a reported $100 million in 2018:
Almost no one understands the specialized textile science that underpins The Laundress’ products. But almost everyone understands that dry cleaning is expensive and uses harmful chemicals. The 90% figure is an attention-grabbing statistic that immediately prompts curiosity around how The Laundress will clean your clothes while saving money on dry cleaning and reducing your environmental impact.
5. Prepare Several Elevator Pitches for Various Stakeholders
When getting your business off the ground or trying to scale it you will pitch different stakeholders.
You might find yourself pitching to an investor, coworker, or client. All will have a different agenda and need from your business. So, your elevator pitch to each one of them should be slightly varied to account for their needs and prospective benefits.
Consider a fictional startup aerosol disinfectant company and the below elevator pitches as framed to various stakeholders:
Prospective investor : Aeroclean’s portable disinfecting equipment creates the finest mist on the market and performs twice as effective at killing bacteria and viruses as the leading competitor. We estimate the market for products like ours will double in the next 24 months and, because we are the best in the business, your $500,000 investment will triple in that same period.
Prospective salesperson : You will be joining Aeroclean at the front end of a massive market expansion never before seen in the disinfectant space. We expect that your past experience in chemical sales coupled with our competitively priced state-of-the-art product will result in a six-figure commission opportunity over the next 12 months.
Prospective client : Keeping your common spaces bacteria and virus free will keep your workforce healthier and more productive, but 3 out of 4 companies we meet with haven’t found a solution that works for them. Aeroclean is portable, twice as effective as our competitor and priced at $1,500, payable over six months, and comes with a money-back guarantee.
Understanding how to get your audience’s attention is important for any pitch situation. Make sure you practice giving your elevator pitch so you can effectively communicate your business or idea to the right audience.
6. Have a Key Takeaway
Make sure your audience knows what you want from them at the end of your elevator pitch, be that their business, capital investment, or endorsement.
Consider Heal, a mobile app that facilitates doctor house calls for patients. Founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Renee Dua makes this pitch to potential patients on Heal’s website:
The takeaway here is a bid to you as the consumer to switch to Heal from other alternatives for your family’s healthcare needs.
7. Rehearse Thoroughly
Practice your pitch whenever you can and on whoever you can. Record yourself and play it back to see how you come across. Practicing also fosters confidence so that in an actual pitching situation you do not stall or come across as robotic.
Your body language also matters, so practice in front of a mirror to see how you move. Sit up straight, make eye contact and use hand gestures to help communicate the important points.
Your delivery must be smooth, conversational, and delivered in a compelling way. Seeing you entirely in control and confident will automatically inspire the audience’s confidence in the idea and/or business you are selling. The way you deliver your pitch is a great indication of the amount of passion you hold for your business. Hearing a passionate pitch can convince investors who invest in people as much as they invest in ideas. But, be sure to have your business card handy.
Business Elevator Pitch Examples for Inspiration
Some specific examples of how to craft your company’s elevator pitch can be helpful. The following sample elevator pitches cover a wide range of businesses and organizations.
“We sell eco-friendly home goods online. We’re better than the other guys because we have a commitment to sustainability and offer high-quality products that last.”
“We develop mobile apps. We’re different because we design for both Android and iOS, and we have a team of experts who can make your app stand out in the App Store.”
“We help small businesses grow. We do this by creating and implementing online marketing campaigns that generate leads and sales. We’re the best at this because we have a team of experts who know how to leverage the latest digital technologies.”
“We offer a cloud-based customer relationship management system. Our CRM is different because it was built from the ground up to be mobile-friendly. We also have a team of experts who can help you get the most out of our CRM.”
“We sell and install solar panels. We’re the best at this because we have a team of experts who can help you choose the right solar panel for your needs and budget, both for installation and maintenance. We also have the best warranties in the industry.”
“We are a children’s boutique with one-of-a-kind clothing for kids 0-5 years old. We offer free shipping when you spend $50 or more, which is our way of saying thank you for supporting our small business.”
“We are the smartest sales lead generation company in the industry. We provide intelligence to clients through our proprietary platform, which is powered by big data and machine learning. But what really sets us apart is our team of experts who manage every facet of your lead gen campaigns.”
“We are the only company that offers a complete solution for your event planning needs. We have everything from venues to catering to décor, and we can take care of all the details so you don’t have to worry about anything. Plus, our team of industry experts will make sure your wedding is the stuff of fairy tales.”
Some other real-world elevator pitch examples include:
DoorDash : “DoorDash is the fastest way to get food from great restaurants to your door.”
Blue Apron : “Blue Apron helps you cook incredible meals at home.”
Warby Parker : “Warby Parker is a better way to buy glasses.”
ZocDoc : “ZocDoc makes it easy to find and book appointments with top doctors and dentists.”
While these elevator pitch examples are great for inspiration, remember that the best pitch is the one that fits your company perfectly.
To make the perfect elevator pitch, focus on what makes your company different and how you are helping your customers. If you think about your pitch as a conversation between two people, it should flow and sound natural.
You can also try using one of these elevator pitch examples as a starting point or our template below from which you can craft your own elevator pitch. However, keep in mind that the best way to have a successful pitch is by tailoring it for each potential investor.
General Elevator Pitch Template to Help You Write Your Pitch
The following elevator template includes six questions to help you develop a good elevator pitch for your business.
- What does your company do (start with phrases such as: we help, we provide, we manufacture, we offer, etc.)?
- Who does your company serve (who are your customers? teenagers? entrepreneurs, new parents, etc.)?
- What key benefits do you offer your customers? (e.g., higher quality/more success, lower cost, more reliable, etc.)?
- Why is your company better than competitors? (e.g., even faster, less expensive, etc.)?
- What information gives your firm more credibility (e.g., track record)?
- Is there a clear and clean business sector that your company fits into (e.g., restaurant, CPA firm, etc.)?
Combine the key points from Questions 1-6 into a 35 word or less statement that describes your business.
Say it aloud to make sure it sounds good and makes sense. Tell it to friends to make sure they “get” it. Tell it to team members and other employees to confirm that they can repeat it back to you.
Business Elevator Pitch Conclusion
Developing a strong elevator pitch is essential for any business. It can help you sell your company to potential investors, employees, and customers.
The best elevator pitches are clear, concise, and easy to understand. They highlight what makes your company different and why customers should choose you over the competition.
Remember to tailor your pitch to fit each individual investor and to make sure it sounds natural and normal. Practice saying it aloud to make sure everything flows together well.
If you follow these steps, you will have a much better chance of selling your business to investors and achieving great success for your business.
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Top 7 Killer Elevator Pitch Examples
Make short, sharp, and on-the-spot presentations by modeling your presentations after these elevator pitch examples.
I’ve scoured the business management internet space to bring you the best, most-impressive elevator pitches. In the following paragraphs, I’ll show you how to model your communications on these winning archetypes. (Spoiler alert: some of these examples show what not to do, so read closely.)
What is an elevator pitch?
Think of your elevator pitch (or elevator speech) as a Twitter version of your business plan/proposal. You may use more than 140 characters to communicate your ideas during a 30-second elevator ride; however, don’t share more than three tweets’ worth of information in “ first contact ” situations.
Because the average English word has 4.5 characters (5.5 with spaces), a 140 character tweet equals roughly 25 words.
Most people speak 120-200 words per minute ; use a comprehensible 75 words (slightly slower than the average speaking speed) in your 30-second elevator pitch.
Speaking slowly (while still showing your passion for the subject) demonstrates confidence and competence.
Don’t just wing it and stumble your way through a rambling, improvised elevator speech the next time you get a chance to speak with an industry influencer.
Create and practice your elevator pitches right away–you never know when you’ll run into that next big opportunity.
Business networking means always having a business card in your hand and a smile on your face.
Give the same care and attention to the way you describe yourself (and your company) as you do to your professional attire, branding, and product design.
However, don’t spend too much time on this effort; track your time to ensure you spend an appropriate amount on this project without obsessing.
You can use an elevator pitch for everything from getting a job/promotion to landing a new client or investor. You’ll find these short, refined introduction speeches in all areas of business communication.
Staying ahead of the competition and managing industry rivalry means always presenting yourself in the best possible light. Later in this article, I’ll provide elevator speech examples for each of the popular variants. However, let’s use a basic elevator pitch template to get started.
Use a simple elevator speech template
You can find many outline variants and elevator pitch examples online; I’ll describe my favorites in this article. However, to keep things simple, I’ll start with a simple method used by the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology:
- State the Problem
- Present Your Solution
- Explain Why People Should Trust You
- Describe Your Value Proposition
- Offer a CTA (Call to Action)
In the following fill-in-the-blank template, I use one sentence per point to clarify the structure of this system. Feel free to break this rule and create a natural-sounding elevator pitch. As you practice your speech out loud, keep tweaking your phrasing to sound personable and precise. Just remember to maintain a maximum of 75 words!
A simple Harvard-MIT elevator pitch template
- Problem: “[Customer Type] are often frustrated by the effort it takes to [Action].”
- Solution: “[Your New Solution] eliminates the need to [Customer’s Old Solution].”
- Why You: “For [Duration], [Customer Type] have trusted [Your Company] to provide the best solutions in [Customer’s Industry].”
- Value: “With [Your New Solution], you can [spend less/make more] [time/money] [Action].”
- CTA: “I’ll give you a call to learn more about your situation (Get Contact Info). Thanks for your time.”
Elevator pitch example #1: Nice and simple
“Ranchers are often frustrated by the effort it takes to hand-shear their angora alpacas. DroneClip eliminates the need to chase, restrain, and trim these beautiful beasts. For over 5 years, alpaca farmers have trusted DroneClip to provide the best solutions in alpaca ranching. With our safe and reliable drone aircraft, you can spend less time shearing and manage a larger herd. I’ll give you a call to learn more about your situation. Thanks for your time.”
Use a comprehensive speech outline template
When making an elevator pitch (or any other presentation, for that matter) you may want to follow a programmatic speech format like this one from UC Davis :
- Smile and make a “hooking” statement to capture your audience’s attention.
- Introduce yourself (and your company).
- Explain what you do and why you love it.
- Describe the contributions you’ve made, including the problems you’ve solved.
- Give a short, striking example of your value.
- Explain your interest in your listener(s).
- Describe your product/service/solution.
- List the ways people benefit from working with you (instead of your competitors).
- Provide a brief story about a satisfied customer.
- Ask for an appropriate response to this interaction (contact info, a referral, an appointment, etc.)
Even when working with this model, remember to keep it brief. A 75-word elevator pitch only includes 5-6 sentences. In fact, this detailed outline contains over 100 words.
Take a look at this example and learn how to sharpen your sentences into quick, powerful points. Some people like to use a lot of words to get your ideas out of their heads and onto paper.
If you’re one of these types, write a verbose first draft of your elevator speech just to get your thoughts in order.
Then, review the document a few times and find ways to make each sentence do its job with slightly fewer words than before.
To make this outline work, you’ll need to include many points per sentence, as I have below:
Elevator pitch example #2: Follow a comprehensive outline template
“Do you hate shearing stubborn alpacas by hand? I’m Joe Neely from DroneClip. I enjoy connecting animal lovers to technologies like our DroneScoop waste solution. I’m here at the Alpaca Festival to learn from you, the experts. Our hands-free DroneClip shearing system outperforms hand-shears so you can limit your employee hours. We saved one rancher, Bob Mikabob, over 40 weekly work-hours. When can I visit your farm, demonstrate our product, and meet your neighbors?”
Construct an elevator pitch for any purpose: example of custom writing
A simple format like Monroe’s Motivate Sequence may help you create the best elevator pitch for your purposes. This flexible structure can be adapted for everything from job interviews to investor meetings–and beyond:
- Get Attention
- Establish a Need
- Satisfy This Need
- Visualize Consequences
- Present a CTA
Say you want a promotion from Assistant Alpaca Wrangler to Chief Wool-Gatherer. Tailor Monroe’s Motivate Sequence to your needs and make a quick, 30-second presentation (to anyone who will listen). Let your colleagues, supervisors, and managers know why you deserve this lofty position.
Elevator pitch example #3: Adapt this format to your needs
“Yuck–I can’t believe how much loose alpaca hair floats around in our barn. I just got some in my mouth! Wouldn’t it be great if someone kept this place hair-free? I’d be glad to go around and scoop it all up. If we added a Chief Wool-Gatherer position, it would surely pay for itself by reducing waste and increasing profits. Tell the boss you want me to start, right away!”
No matter your desired outcome, it always pays to present your plans in a coherent, logical fashion. Make your speeches short and to the point, only mentioning the most relevant facts and opportunities.
The elevator pitch writing process
Sometimes it helps to see the process itself. You can adjust your speechwriting efforts according to the following brief, step-by-step elevator pitch example. To keep this section readable, I’ll create a short 30-word blurb, not an entire 75-word elevator pitch.
Elevator pitch example #4: Working with words
1) Write down all your ideas, regardless of word count.
“I’m Joe Neely and I want alpaca lovers to buy my T-shirts. I want people to feel proud of their animals and spread the word about our brand. Our brand is called DroneClip. We offer hands-free alpaca shearing solutions like FAA-approved UAV/UAS quad-copters for ranchers who want to save time and money and have more resources to invest in other aspects of their operations.”
2) Get rid of unnecessary details. The 64-word paragraph I created in Step 1 is a good start, but I can do better. First, I can cut the redundancies in my extremely-long final sentence:
“I’m Joe Neely and I want alpaca lovers to buy my T-shirts. I want people to feel proud of their animals and spread the word about our brand. Our brand is called DroneClip. We offer hands-free alpaca shearing solutions like FAA-approved UAV/UAS quad-copters for ranchers who want to save time and money.”
3) Remove any confusing or unfamiliar industry jargon. Now I’m down to 53 words. I must remove the drone-specific language in the last sentence to avoid confusing listeners. (I can always provide educational materials defining these terms in later interactions with my customers.)
“I’m Joe Neely and I want alpaca lovers to buy my T-shirts. I want people to feel proud of their animals and spread the word about our brand. Our brand is called DroneClip. We offer hands-free alpaca shearing solutions for ranchers who want to save time and money.”
4) Shorten and connect your sentences. You can communicate your entire unique selling proposition quickly if you limit your use of “ stop words .” These little connectors help sentences flow, but you don’t need as many if you combine 2-3 statements.
“I’m Joe Neely–Alpaca lovers buy my T-shirts to share their love of Alpacas and DroneClip. We offer hands-free alpaca shearing solutions for ranchers who want to save time and money.”
5) Review and ask, “What’s in it for the listener?” I’ve pared down my key points to a reasonable length (31 words). Before I polish up my final product, I need to make sure I’ve addressed the benefits customers can expect from my product. Sure, I’ve told people what the product does, but I’m selling T-shirts, not drones, in this example.
“I’m Joe Neely from DroneClip. Get our T-shirts to share your love of Alpacas and impress people by promoting the latest technology. We offer hands-free alpaca shearing solutions for ranchers who want to save time and money.”
6) Polish your speech and hit your target word count. This little blurb says everything I need it to say. I present both my T-shirt enticement product (which would also work well as a freebie) and my big sell (DroneClip drone systems).
Now, I just need to combine my introduction with my final sentence and add a few tweaks (for example, “time and money” became “resources” and then simply “frugal”).
“I’m DroneClip’s Joe Neely. We offer hands-free shears for frugal ranchers. Buy a T-shirt, show you love Alpacas, and impress people with this fun new technology.”
I’ve narrowed down my word count, added an idea, and refined my language. With similar efforts on your longer, 75-word elevator speech, you can maximize your potency. Make the most of your limited time and say the most you can in fewer words!
Sample elevator pitches you do not want to emulate
Elevator pitch example #5: avoid truisms, buzzwords, and hyperbole.
“Hi, I’m Joe Neely–I’m here to tell you all about the best drones ever constructed. The U.S. military has nothing on our sUAS and UAV options. With DroneClip, the world’s greatest corporation, you’ll be flying over the sky in your own battle robot–which also clips alpaca hair! If you’re flying, you’re flying with DroneClip–and winning the battle against hand-shears!”
In this elevator pitch example , I didn’t hold back and spoke as I would to a drone enthusiast. Not only are many of the claims in this blurb highly-exaggerated (hyperbole), I’ve also used unfamiliar buzzwords/industry terms.
Instead of providing clear and concise content , I’ve fluffed-up this elevator pitch so much with useless and obvious statements (truisms) that I didn’t have room for a CTA.
Elevator pitch example #6: Weed out fillers and annoyances
“Do you hate alpaca hair? Do wish you’d bought yaks instead? No? Do you love alpacas and say, ‘leave the yaks to the hacks?’ Well, I’m Joe Neely–come one, come all to the DroneClip side of the street. You can’t go wrong with this system –it’s the best in the business. Do you want the finest alpaca hair machine money can buy? Well, step right up and buy one today!”
If you include too many fillers like leading questions and side tangents, you’ll only annoy your customers. Don’t come off like a carnival barker ; you want people to view you as a professional who knows when not to come on too strong.
Don’t insult your audience’s attention by filling their ears with unfounded claims. Be sure to describe a valid consumer need–and how your product/service meets it.
Elevator pitch example #7: Don’t change the subject and ask too much of people
“Hi–I’m Joe Neely and I want you to–I mean, if you want to, you can… Buy the DroneClip right now, my friend. You don’t need to see how it works – trust me when I say it solves all your problems, champ. I hope you like this product, sweetie, because I don’t know if… I meant to say DroneClip is the best alpaca hair solution and you’ll save a lot with it. Just ask your neighbors–in fact, my man, buy one for each of them!”
Let’s face it. No one will buy a major piece of farm equipment unseen and untested. They certainly won’t buy one for their neighbors/competitors. Ask your customers for too much too soon, and you’ll look silly. Also, changing the tone from indecisive to enthusiastic makes people uncomfortable. Calling people by inappropriate and unprofessional nicknames and trailing off mid-sentence makes you sound completely insincere–as if it were your first day on the job (or the planet).
The bottom line
Stick with the elevator pitch examples and outlines I’ve offered earlier in this article, and you’ll present yourself with class and style. Take the necessary time to sculpt, polish, and practice your speech.
An award-winning elevator pitch can’t sell by itself; you must devote time and effort to making it sound natural in your best speaking voice.
Once you have a good speech prepared, you need to try it out in real-life situations. Whether you sell big or flop the first time, you’ll gain the experience you need to keep improving.
You’ll keep improving your sales skills throughout your career; just get out there and start talking to people–today!
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15 creative elevator pitch examples for every scenario
A good elevator pitch can be the difference between landing your next big opportunity or falling short of the competition. But the reality is, people want to have meaningful conversations without the forced sales pitch. So how do you pitch yourself during a job interview or client meeting with authenticity?
First things first: What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch, also known as an elevator speech, is an opportunity to share a quick summary of yourself and your product offerings. But a pitch can also be your chance at making a real connection that you can use later down the road. It’s not always an immediate benefit, but you should be prepared for any scenario in which you could be giving an elevator pitch.
In reality, most people have given an elevator pitch whether they realize it or not. That’s because there are many different types of pitches—from interviews to new business opportunities. That makes preparing for your next pitch an important step in marketing both yourself and your company.
When it comes to figuring out who to deliver your pitch to, you should aim for the best point of contact, not just the highest point of contact. Choosing connections that are related to or interested in what you’re offering will give you a better chance at making your sale.
How long should an elevator pitch be?
One of the biggest unknowns about creating sample elevator pitches is how long they should be. In most cases, it will depend on what it’s about and who you’re pitching. A good rule of business etiquette is to make it as short as possible by carefully selecting the most important points.
A study conducted by Microsoft found that the average person has an attention span of around eight seconds, meaning you’ll have to fight for that undivided attention. That’s no small task. So when it comes to a great elevator pitch, aim to keep it around 30 seconds—though the exact length can vary depending on your industry and what you’re pitching.
When looking at pitch length based on industry, each one differs to some degree. Let’s take marketing for example. Your pitch opportunities will likely be to customers that come across your brand. And in that case, you have very little time to get your message across—whether it’s text, video, or imagery. But when it comes to sales, you may get the opportunity to expand your elevator pitch past 30 seconds. You will likely have plenty of networking opportunities where people are more than willing to listen to what you have to say. It really just depends on your medium and the audience’s eagerness to listen.
But what if you can’t cut your elevator pitch down to 30 seconds? It may seem like your brand is too complicated to distill down to such a short timeframe, but if you’re pitching to the right audience you shouldn’t have that problem. Make sure you pitch to people related to your industry or a tangential audience that will be able to interpret your offerings.
How to write an elevator pitch
When it comes to writing an elevator pitch, it can be hard to decipher important facts from unimportant ones—this is why knowing how to effectively communicate in the workplace is important in the first place. For example, while it’s good to personalize your communication tactics wherever possible, it’s not necessary to give prospects an entire history lesson on your business. Only the most recent and relevant details should be included. To get started creating your own pitch, you first need to understand the basic components that make up any good elevator pitch.
All good pitches start with a short introduction. It could be as simple as stating your name and who you work for if those details apply. But the more personal you can make it, the more natural your elevator pitch will seem. Body language is also an important part of a solid introduction, as is eye contact. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when introducing yourself to a new prospect.
Greet your audience in a way that’s appropriate for the occasion. Go formal for a business pitch or more casual for a fun event. With business meetings and networking events being held virtually, you’ll need to get creative with your introductions over video chat. You could even start with a lighthearted joke to break the ice. But whatever you do, make sure it’s relevant to your audience.
Present the problem
All solutions start with a problem. Whatever you or your business is trying to solve, it’s important to get the point across early on in your elevator pitch to set the theme for the rest of your speech. An example problem: coordinating work between teams is chaotic.
If possible, relate the problem back to your audience by using real-world examples. This will help make the problem more relevant and, hopefully, grab your audience’s attention. If your problem isn’t easy to explain, try using more than one example or a visual to really paint a picture for your audience.
Offer the solution
If the problem is what draws the audience in, then the solution is what hooks them. This is your time to show them why they need your help. Here’s an example solution: Asana gives teams a system to organize and manage work so they know what to do, why it matters, and how to get it done.
The solution is arguably the most important part of an elevator pitch, so spend time perfecting it. If you’re pitching for a business, it’s likely the quick solution pitch has already been created. But again, it’s always better to personalize your pitch. So don’t be afraid to tweak it to fit your audience. If pitching for yourself, talk about the unique skills you’ve developed and why they would be beneficial to your prospect.
Explain your value proposition
Now that you’ve piqued your audience’s attention, it’s time to seal the deal by explaining why your solution is better than anyone else's. An example value proposition is: Asana is the only platform that connects goals with the work needed to achieve them.
The value proposition differs from the solution by focusing on why your audience should use your solution over a competitor’s. If you don’t have that answer just yet, perform a competitive analysis to compare your offerings or look to your executive summary.
If your market is extremely niche and you don’t have a clear differentiator or significant competition, look to communication and interface capabilities. Consider why your idea or solution is original enough that someone would want to use it.
Engage the audience
While most of the hard work is done, it’s important to engage your audience with a compliment or question before you part ways. Always err on the side of being genuine rather than delivering a scripted goodbye.
There is no right or wrong way to engage your audience. While ending with a question can create a dialogue between you and your audience, a genuine compliment can go a long way. Think about what made you want to pitch them in the first place and use that to end the conversation. Lastly, don’t forget to swap contact information, such as a business card, if you don’t already have it.
A foolproof elevator pitch template
Now that you know the basic components of a pitch, the next step is creating your very own elevator pitch. This template can work for just about any situation, from a job interview to pitching a small business or startup. That’s because we analyzed some of the most famous templates from industry experts—from Harvard research to Guy Kawasaki’s art of pitching—to create a foolproof template that will work in any situation.
Plug your information into our elevator pitch template to draft a quick speech. While you won’t necessarily recite it word for word, it’s a great model to keep in mind in case you find yourself in a position where you’re not prepared with a personalized pitch.
Whether you’re looking for a pitch template for a job interview or for pitching your business, this template is a foolproof example for any situation you might find yourself in.
General elevator pitch template
Use our elevator pitch template to start constructing your speech by adding statistics and personalized greetings where needed. This template incorporates the four parts explained above to hit all of the important details of a good elevator pitch.
Introduction : “Hi I’m [name], a [position title] at [company name]. It’s great to meet you!”
Problem : “Since you work with [company name or industry] I figured you’d be interested to know that [problem + interesting statistic].”
Solution : “The great part about working at [your company’s name] is that we’ve been able to fix just that problem by [solution].”
Value proposition : “In fact, we’re the only company that offers [value proposition].”
CTA : “I think our solution could really help you. Are you available this week to speak further on this?”
Don’t be afraid to change up your pitch template based on your personality and professional expertise. We’ve also included personalized 30-second elevator pitch examples below to inspire personal facts you can add to create a more engaging speech .
30-second elevator pitch examples
Let’s dive into the best 30-second elevator pitch examples to help you create a pitch that’s both engaging and informative. Our examples take inspiration from the four elements included in the template above, to demonstrate how you'd pitch project management software to increase productivity . Try a few or try them all to find one that best fits your personality and value proposition.
Example 1: Short and sweet
This example is one of the most common you’ll come across. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best, but it’s a great example of a quick and easy pitch that fits almost any situation. When working on this type of elevator pitch, be sure to keep it as short and to the point as possible. Try to stick closely to the 30 seconds or less rule since the point is to be brief and transparent.
The problem is that work is chaotic no matter what industry you’re in or how good you are at your job. But a good project management software can help improve productivity and communication. I haven’t missed a deadline in years. If you’re interested in how it can help your team, give me a call and I can take you through some numbers.
Example 2: Relatable over reliable
Sometimes the best way to grab your audience’s attention is to reel them in with a personal anecdote they’ll relate to. While it’s still important to drive home your solution, this approach puts more weight on making a personal connection rather than an immediate sale.
It’s so great to finally meet you. How is business going? I heard you’ve been struggling with communication issues. My team and I struggled with that too. It wasn’t until we added project management software into our routine that we really saw an improvement in teamwork and overall communication. I hope you find a solution that works for your team.
Example 3: Savvy with stats
Start your pitch off with a hook by dropping an attention-grabbing statistic. It’s important to have hard data to back up your statistics to ensure their accuracy before pitching. When it comes to a statistics pitch, it’s a good idea to come full circle at the end and connect how your solution can help solve that statistic.
Did you know that despite having more ways to connect remotely, 60% of workers’ time is spent on work coordination with just 26% spent on skilled work and 14% on strategy? No wonder teams need help with project management. Implementing project management tools can decrease time spent on work coordination and help increase skilled work.
Example 4: Question everything
This example uses questions to make your pitch easily comprehensible. It also forces the audience to join in on the conversation rather than just presenting them with a speech. Try starting and ending with a question that makes the audience think about your pitch long after you leave the room.
Do you ever feel like you spend too much time on work about work? I’ve talked to so many people who share the same frustrations. I used to work long hours every day just trying to catch up. But do you know what? Ever since we started using project management software, I've been able to get so much more work done. Have you tried anything similar in the past?
Example 5: Comedic twist
If your pitch isn’t about a serious topic, you can add comedic twists to engage the audience. This is especially useful if giving a presentation. Add a GIF or quick funny clip in between slides to lighten the mood. If using this example, be sure it fits the occasion and tone of your company.
Did you know that the average person can only pay attention for eight seconds? That’s not even long enough to place my coffee order in the morning. Maybe that’s why my barista always gets it wrong. But seriously, I think that’s why so many companies struggle to hit deadlines.
Example 6: Tell a story
Use customer testimonials or your own personal story to paint a picture for the audience. This can be especially helpful if your topic is hard to explain in 30 seconds or less. Telling a story is a great way to add a relatable twist.
We have a customer that transitioned to a fully remote workforce this year and needed help making sure deadlines were met. With our help, they were able to get up to 10% of their time back in their day and focus on more important things like strategic planning.
Example 7: Emotionally driven
While this type of pitch may be more difficult to create, you have a better chance of winning over your audience if you can make your pitch emotionally driven. It’s also more likely they’ll be willing to share the experience with someone else down the road. It’s important to keep the emotions on the lighter side to prevent the conversation from steering too dark. Here is an example to inspire your own speech.
It may seem like any other tool, but when you look closely it really is helping teams connect. And not just that, but it’s helping cultivate teams that actually enjoy working together on new projects. That’s something that’s hard to come by, but something everyone is looking for.
Example 8: Write it first
While most speeches start by writing a general outline, you can opt to write the entire pitch from start to finish. This tends to create a thought-provoking and poetic flow once you do present your pitch. You’ll have to memorize this pitch, so practicing is a key element to this strategy.
Hi, my name is Kelly! It’s great to meet you. You work for Apollo Enterprises, right? I’ve heard a lot about them. I actually heard that you’re looking for project management help. In my experience, any organization—whether sales or suppliers—needs help coordinating work and team communication. Work can be rather chaotic, especially now, without it. That’s why we’ve created a software tool that helps both individuals and teams organize their projects and communications all in one place. Have you ever thought about using something similar?
Example 9: End with a one-liner
Making a grand exit doesn’t come easily, but if you can pull it off your audience is sure to be impressed. Stay away from cliche one-liners and make your closing authentic to you. The point here is to leave them with a thought that they’ll remember after the meeting is over. Consider sharing a surprising statistic or question relevant to their business.
Over one-quarter (26%) of all deadlines are missed each week because of a lack of clarity. But with the right project management tools, that number could be much lower. So the question is, can your business afford not to use project management software?
Elevator pitch examples by scenario
Now that we’ve covered the types of pitch examples, let’s dive into example elevator pitches for different scenarios. Whether you’re pitching for your business or yourself, you can use an elevator pitch to organize your thoughts and prepare for the real deal. Let’s look at key tips for any situation you may find yourself in.
Example 10: Networking event
A networking event is probably the most common scenario you’ll run into. And with the new virtual-first culture, it may be even more challenging to make meaningful connections over video chat. That’s why it’s so important to prepare an elevator pitch that’s compelling no matter where you’re pitching it from. While most salespeople pitch casually in this environment, you may get the opportunity to meet an important executive. In which case, you’ll want to be prepared with a versatile pitch template.
Great to meet you, I’m Kelly with Apollo Enterprises. We’ve been able to improve productivity and collaboration for teams all over the world. If you ever need help with project management, just reach out. I think we could make a huge impact on your company. I’ll make sure to keep your contact information handy as well.
Example 11: Job interview
Looking for a new job or have career fairs coming up? Most interviews—whether with human resources, a recruiter, or a hiring manager—start with some form of the phrase, “Tell me about yourself.” This is an opportunity for job seekers to briefly explain themselves and their professional experience using industry buzzwords and key skills. Having an elevator pitch ready can ensure that you’re prepared when the opportunity presents itself.
I’m Kelly, a specialist at Apollo Enterprises. I chose a career in project management because I had a passion for it, and now I can proudly say that I’ve been able to make a real difference in people’s lives. That’s why I’m looking to continue my career with an employer who shares those same values. I know my unique skills can make a big impact at your company because I’ve proven my results with a few key projects.
Example 12: Formal meeting
You’ve landed the meeting, congratulations! Now is the time to create a formal elevator pitch to really get them interested. When presenting a formal pitch, a presentation can be a great addition to traditional elevator speech examples. But whether or not you choose to create a presentation, this meeting is about selling your product in the most professional way possible. So dress the part and don’t forget your unique selling proposition.
I took a look at your current productivity figures and noticed an opportunity for improvement. With our project management software, you could get back up to 10% more of your workday. Not only would that mean more work getting done, but it would also have a positive impact on the overall success of your business. Not to mention, our tool is the only one in the industry that has goal capabilities to ensure teams stay on track.
Example 13: Sales pitch
Professionals often pitch traditional sales jargon, but the real key is creating a human connection while lightly sprinkling in what you’re selling. Start with a personal story or light-hearted introduction instead of the typical sales presentation. You can also prepare by creating sales team goal templates to ensure your team is on the same page.
Our team really struggled to transition to a remote workforce. Communication wasn’t organized and people struggled to find the correct information to complete projects. But, thankfully, we found a solution to our problem. Implementing project management tools not only improved productivity but also improved overall teamwork. Every company prefers different tools, but I can say without a doubt that our software was the best at connecting goals with the work needed to achieve them.
Example 14: Social introduction
Now, more than ever, professionals are choosing to meet virtually rather than face-to-face. Whether you’re chatting over LinkedIn or have a virtual meeting set up, it’s important to make your pitch personal and use clear visuals to help sell your point. Here’s a great example of a social media pitch.
Thanks for connecting! I noticed that your competitors are outperforming you when it comes to year-over-year growth. I took the liberty of doing a competitive analysis and didn’t find any outlying problems. I’m wondering if it could be an issue with productivity. How has the transition to remote work been? If you’re interested, I could run you through some productivity figures if you were to add project management tools to your current processes.
Example 15: Entrepreneurs and business owners
Pitching to a business owner is much different than pitching to an executive. They can be harder to sell because they are often hesitant about new investments. The most important tip is to use examples as they pertain to the business when explaining a problem and solution.
I love your products at Apollo Enterprises. I’m a huge proponent of your mission. I did realize that there may be some opportunities to improve productivity and collaboration internally. Have you ever considered project management software? I think it could have a big impact on business growth now or even down the road.
4 tips to perfect your elevator pitch
In addition to creating the perfect elevator pitch, you should also work on sprucing up your delivery. There’s nothing worse than sitting through a boring speech, so make sure yours is anything but. From posture to tone, there’s a lot you can practice to make sure you look professional and knowledgeable. Consider these four tips when trying to nail a successful elevator pitch.
1. Stick to your outline
To prevent getting off-topic, it’s important to stick to your outline at least to some extent. While you don’t need to recite it word for word, it’s best to memorize the majority of your pitch. That way you won’t need to worry about checking your notes.
2. Speak slowly and clearly
Many professionals tend to talk quickly when they’re nervous—hey, we’re only human. But it’s important to enunciate and speak slowly so the audience can understand you. This is especially important when presenting over video chat. But try not to slow yourself down too much or you’ll go over your allotted time.
3. Record your pitch
Record yourself reciting the pitch to work on any areas that need improvement. Practice your pitch a handful of times by playing the recording back and working out any pain points. A couple of key areas to focus on are speed and tone. It’s better to sound overly energized rather than monotone.
4. Practice, practice, practice!
There’s nothing more effective than practicing your pitch until you’re able to recite it in your sleep. If possible, practice in front of friends and family to get constructive feedback on how you can make your pitch even better. Even if you have years of experience, you can never go wrong with being overly prepared.
Elevate your first impression with an elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a chance to show off your strengths and pitch your solutions. While it may sound nerve-wracking, using the 15 elevator pitch examples above will help you develop your own method using personal tidbits that tie into your innovative solutions.
While your pitch is an important part of leveling up your business, there are many avenues you can take to achieve growth. One of those ways is by determining whether project management vs. work management tools are right for your team. Not only will they help connect your team members, but the right tools and software can also help your organization set strategic goals. That means more time spent on bigger projects to help your business reach next-level growth.
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5 Inspiring Elevator Pitch Examples for Entrepreneurs
- Written By Lindsay Tigar
- Updated: May 24, 2023
There’s nothing quite as exciting — or terrifying! — as starting your own business. With so many unknowns ahead of you, one area that is worth your focus and attention is your elevator pitch as an entrepreneur. This short, yet effective speech should be the most stellar speech that you can give to promote your company, your expertise, and your purpose within your industry.
The best way to visualize it is to picture your No. 1 dream mentor or investor who you admire. If you were stuck in an elevator with them and only had a hot second to get them on board with your company, what would you say? Though everyone will approach their entrepreneur-themed elevator speech differently, most include the following:
- A brief history of your background. Don’t go overboard here! You want to keep it light while positioning yourself as a leader.
- Your company and what they do, make or offer. Again, it’s better to air on the brief side than to give too many details.
- How your brand is different. To break through the noise, you need to stand out — and this sentence is where you do it. Consider using data and/or accolades here.
- Your goal with the conversation. Not all elevator pitches serve the same purpose: sometimes you’re hoping to bring on a new hire, and other times you’re attracting an investor or client . Regardless, the pitch should end with the proposed next steps.
This outline is a solid way to begin brainstorming your entrepreneurial elevator speech. Consider practicing in front of the mirror or with a friend or partner to brush up on your skills.
5 Elevator pitch examples for entrepreneurs
From ones that get to the point ASAP to ones that expand on the details and grab your attention, there are many ways to phrase your speech.
Here, some examples to supercharge your creativity:
1. To ignite interest
“Hi, my name is [NAME] and my company develops and designs personalized online sales funnels [what your company does]. That means two things: one, online customers enjoy a flawless user experience tailored to their needs and interests, and two: our clients get automated solutions that dramatically boost sales [unique business proposition]. We helped our last client increase online revenue by 120 percent month-over-month [hard numbers behind your results]. Does your company have any experience with e-commerce automation? [engaging question]”
Why it works : This ignites interest because it presents the hard facts and then follows them up with numbers that move the needle. It can be an exciting way to gain a new client.
2. To gain customers
“I’m Megan Moran, and I am the owner and wardrobe stylist at The Style Foundry. We are a full-service wardrobe styling business that helps you take the stress out of getting dressed through our styling services. A typical customer cycle starts with a Closet Cleanse, where I clean out your closet, tell you what to keep and get rid of, take pictures of all of the yeses and then upload them to an app/website where I mix and match them into over 100 different outfits from what you already own. From there, I am able to really see what’s missing and what you need. We can tackle that by personal shopping, which is done in-person at your favorite stores or ones I suggest; virtual shopping, which is done online (I send you my finds, you buy what you like, and then when all of the items arrive at your house, I come in for a fitting); or through our mobile boutique, which we can pull up in your driveway and fill it with our pieces that best fit your style and shopping list. It’s the best of online and boutique shopping.”
Why it works : If you’re someone who needs this particular service, this elevator pitch is equal parts convincing and captivating. You have all of the info — and your interest is sparked.
3. To attract investors
“Has this ever happened to you? You’re rushing to get the kids out the door in the morning so you can get them to school on time and not be late for an important meeting — and then you realize that you can’t find your car keys. This happens all the time to me. In fact, did you know that the average suburban professional misplaces their keys more than five times per month? That’s more than 600 million times per year! Using bluetooth technology, I’ve created a low cost key fob that helps people find their keys and other lost items in record time, making it easier to get out the door on busy mornings. We’ve got a working prototype and now we’re looking to raise funds to go into large-scale production. We’ve got some new team members on board with extensive manufacturing experience and supply chain expertise, so we’re hoping to get to market in the next six months.”
Why it works : The only thing missing is the name introduction — but with this landslide of info, it’s easy to see why investors would want to learn more. Not only is this elevator pitch transparent in terms of where the company is right now, but it has an air of confidence , too.
4. The to-the-point
“Hi, I’m [NAME], the founder of Merchant Machine. We make it easy to say ‘thank you’ at work. Merchant Machine helps small businesses quickly and easily save money on their credit card processing costs by comparing the leading options in the market. It’s completely free to the end user, there are no obligations and takes just one minute to do. Can we set up a time to chat tomorrow?”
Why it works : There’s no frills here — but you have enough information to consider setting up a meeting. This approach is more effective via email or Linkedin.
5. The one that worked IRL
“Hi, I’m [NAME]. I got your email address from [NAME]. My co-founders and I founded Grasshopper and Engine Yard, in which Amazon, Benchmark, and NEA invested. Our new company, Chargify, is a simple recurring billing management tool. We’re looking for angel capital to fill in some gaps. Maybe you’re interested in such an investment?”
Why it works : This is a real example from a real company. This one led to other interests and helped them meet their goals. It’s effective because all of the information is straightforward and encouraging, without taking up too much time in someone’s inbox.
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How to Effectively Pitch a Business Idea
- 27 Aug 2020
You’ve identified an underserved need and validated your startup idea . Now it’s time to talk about your business to potential investors. Yet, how do you effectively communicate your idea’s promise and possible impact on the market?
Pitching a business idea is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of any entrepreneur’s journey. It’s what stands in the way between your vision and the financing needed to turn it into a reality. Although daunting, there are steps you can take to ensure a greater chance of success.
Access your free e-book today.
What Makes a Great Pitch?
To make a successful pitch, entrepreneurs must exhibit several characteristics to convince investors to fund their innovative ideas .
Every entrepreneur needs an intricate understanding of their idea, target market, growth strategy, product-market fit , and overall business model . This differentiates your business concept and solidifies the steps needed to make it a reality. The perfect pitch shows investors your proof of concept and instills confidence that they can expect a return on investment .
Another crucial component of a successful pitch is understanding the venture capital (VC) ecosystem.
“It’s critical for entrepreneurs to understand the background and motivations of venture capitalists so when entrepreneurs seek them out to help fund their venture, they know what to prioritize in a firm and how to build a strong, trusting relationship,” says Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer Jeffrey Bussgang in the online course Launching Tech Ventures .
To secure funding and support, here are essential steps to ensure your pitch is effective.
How to Pitch a Business Idea
1. know who you’re pitching.
Some entrepreneurs try to get in front of every investor, despite their industry expertise or firm’s investment stage. Consider that, when you accept an investment, it’s about more than money; you enter a partnership. You must perform your due diligence and research potential investors before making your pitch.
When researching, ask yourself:
What industries do they invest in?
A VC firm’s industry focus depends on what the partners’ niche is and where their passions lie. Some firms specialize in a particular sector, such as financial technology (fintech) or education technology (edtech).
For example, Rethink Education is a venture capital fund that invests in early- and growth-stage edtech startups, while Blockchain Capital is dedicated to financing companies innovating in the crypto market. Others are generalists and span several industries.
Knowing the types of companies the firm invests in can help you tailor your pitch and zero in on their presumed priorities.
What stage do they invest in?
If you’re in the earliest stages of business development, you won’t receive growth equity, which is reserved for mature companies that need capital to expand operations, enter a new market, or acquire another business. Before making your pitch, have a rough estimate of the money and resources you need to launch, and then align yourself with investors who can help at that particular stage.
What’s the investor’s track record?
Dig deeper into the investor’s experience and investment history to determine the types of companies they typically finance, the background knowledge they might already have, and whether your personalities will mesh. This information will enable you to modify your pitch and determine if this is the right person or fund to partner with.
“The best venture capitalists become trusted partners and advisors to the founders and team,” says HBS Professor William Sahlman in the online course Entrepreneurship Essentials . “They help recruit key employees. They introduce the company to potential customers. They help raise subsequent rounds of capital. In some cases, they signal that the firm they've backed is a winner, which helps make that assertion true.”
Given the benefits and high stakes, the more you know going into a pitch, the better.
2. Consider How You Present Yourself, Not Simply Your Idea
Although your ideas and skills matter , your personality is equally as important. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review , venture capitalists’ interest in a startup “was driven less by judgments that the founder was competent than by perceptions about character and trustworthiness.”
Investors also want to know they’re entering a partnership with the right people. Jennifer Fonstad, co-founder of Aspect Ventures , acknowledges in Entrepreneurship Essentials that her investment firm “thinks about team and team dynamics as being very critical.”
Investors want to know whether the founders have worked together before, if your startup’s early hires have complementary skill sets, and whether you’ll be flexible, open-minded, and willing to embrace different perspectives.
Think about this as you prepare your pitch. If investors poke holes in your idea, will you get defensive? When they ask for financial projections, will you exaggerate the numbers? Hopefully, your answers are “no”—firms want to partner with founders they can trust who are open to guidance and mentorship—but if you’re second-guessing your reactions, consider what you might be asked and practice your responses.
As Sahlman reinforces in Entrepreneurship Essentials : “Most experienced investors look at the people first and the opportunity second. Even when a team is young and inexperienced, an investor depends on them to make the right decisions.”
3. Tell a Story
When describing your business idea, zero in on the problem you address for your target audience and how you solve it better than the competition. You could do this by presenting a real-life scenario in which you describe the pain point a current or prospective customer faced and how your product or service fixed the issue. This can help engage investors on a personal level and inspire them to see your idea’s potential.
By complementing your spreadsheets and charts with a compelling story, you can paint a fuller picture of your startup’s future and more effectively highlight its business opportunity.
4. Cover the Details
While it’s important to set the stage, you also need to cover the specifics. In your pitch deck, concisely define your value proposition and share a memorable tagline for investors to leave the meeting with.
According to Bussgang in Launching Tech Ventures , every pitch to an investor should contain the following:
- Intro: Focus on answering important questions like who you are, why you’re asking for funding, and what your founder-market fit is.
- Problem: Talk about your ideal customer’s pain point and how you plan to solve it.
- Solution: Explain how your idea is a compelling solution and why it’s better than existing solutions.
- Opportunity and Market Size: Provide your total addressable market (TAM), serviceable addressable market (SAM), and serviceable obtainable market (SOM) through research.
- Competitive Analysis: Understand your unique differences in the market that can help you sustain a competitive advantage.
- Go-to-Market Plan: Clarify how you’re going to reach your customers.
- Business Model: Describe how you’re going to make money.
- Financials: Define what your financial projections are and how you’re going to provide returns for investors.
- The Ask: Detail how much funding you need, how long it will last, and what milestones you hope to achieve.
“VCs will expect entrepreneurs to clearly define the milestones they need to achieve with each round of funding,” Bussgang continues. “Entrepreneurs should know what experiments they will run to reach these milestones and what they expect the results will be.”
5. Show the Roadmap
Although you’re in your business’s early stages, investors want to know how they’ll cash out in the end.
“To truly understand the motivations behind VC firms, remember that they are professional investors,” Bussgang explains in Launching Tech Ventures . “Their objective is to generate the maximum return for their limited partners with a dual fiduciary duty to their investors and the company.”
To clinch your pitch, highlight your exit strategy and the options available.
The most common exit strategies include:
- Acquisition: When one company buys most or all of another company’s shares to gain control of it
- Merger: When two existing companies unite into one new company
- Initial Public Offering (IPO): When a private company issues its first sale of stocks to the public and can start raising capital from public investors
Related: What Are Mergers & Acquisitions? 4 Key Risks
3 Kinds of Pitches for Entrepreneurs
While all effective pitches share foundational elements, you should use different types depending on the scenario. To increase your chances of success, tailor your pitch to your audience and the available time frame.
1. The Elevator Pitch
This is one of the most popular pitches. Use this when you need to communicate their startup’s value in 60 seconds or less.
An effective elevator pitch should be concise, convincing, and convey your startup’s value proposition and differentiators. For tech business ideas, mention the innovative technology that sets your concept apart. At the end, include a call to action, such as the amount of capital required to launch.
2. The Short-Form Pitch
You should portray your business idea’s value to prospective clients and investors as efficiently as possible. This means summarizing the most important elements of your idea in a way that makes them want to hear more. Highlight the market size, how you’ll create barriers for competition, your plan to monetize the business, and how much financing you need.
Short-form pitches can run from three to 10 minutes; if you’re pitching in a competitive setting, note any length requirements. These shorter pitches can pique investors’ interest and earn you the chance to present a long-form pitch.
3. The Long-Form Pitch
Sometimes, you’re fortunate enough to have more than a few minutes to pitch your idea. If this opportunity presents itself, it’s crucial to make the most of your time and address every aspect of your business plan.
“You’re not just trying to start any business,” Bussgang says in Launching Tech Ventures . “You’re trying to create a business that’s profitable, sustainable, and valuable.
Zero in on your story and share a real-life scenario. Detail the market size to illustrate demand and clear examples of how you’ll attract and retain customers, particularly in light of competitors. This will show you’re planning for—and ahead of—future challenges.
You should also have a blueprint for testing product-market fit and early results, along with a detailed monetization plan. Lastly, share your exit strategy and the amount of capital needed to, one day, achieve it. Your long-form pitch should communicate your business concept clearly and concisely, open the possibility for follow-up questions, and capture the investors’ interest.
Consider preparing all three pitch lengths to be ready for any opportunity. It’s important to stay agile so you can modify your pitch to fit specific length requirements.
Landing the Pitch
Every investor prioritizes different data and information. Yet, if you start by choosing the right investor and then align their needs with your proposed market opportunity, value proposition, and exit strategy, you have a chance at landing the pitch.
“In some ways, startup success depends just as much on whether your hypothesis about the future is right, as it does on whether your idea is a good one,” Bussgang explains in Launching Tech Ventures .
As a result, it’s important for you to do your due diligence before pitching your business idea to investors.
If you’re interested in learning more about what investors look for and how you can create value, explore Entrepreneurship Essentials and Launching Tech Ventures , two of our entrepreneurship and innovation courses . Not sure which is the right fit? Download our free course flowchart to determine which best aligns with your goals.
This post was updated on July 28, 2023. It was originally published on August 27, 2020.
About the Author
Free Elevator Pitch Templates: Business, Networking, and Personal
By Joe Weller | June 23, 2022
We’ve collected the top elevator pitch templates for students, businesses, networking, and personal use to help you prepare for events and meetings where you have limited time to pitch yourself, business ideas, or products.
Included on this page, you’ll find a basic elevator pitch template , an elevator pitch template for students , an elevator pitch template for networking , and an elevator pitch template for sales.
Basic Elevator Pitch Template
Download Basic Elevator Pitch Template Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF
Use this elevator pitch template to ensure that you include all pertinent information in your brief presentation. In a typical elevator pitch, you’ll have 30 seconds to introduce yourself, provide an overview of your experience, hook the audience with clear goals, and present a simple action plan. Adapt this template to meet just about any personal or business need and make sure your idea is clearly presented.
Check out our resources on how to write a great elevator pitch for more information.
Elevator Pitch Template for Students
Download Elevator Pitch Template for Students Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF
Students seeking internships, jobs, or further study opportunities can use this template to prepare an elevator pitch for job fairs, internship applications, or chance meetings with hiring managers. Fill in the sections for personal information, the reason why your proposal matters, and a call to action. Writing a pitch ahead of time helps you appear prepared and qualified when meeting with hiring professionals.
Check out more elevator pitch examples to meet the needs of any short presentation.
Elevator Pitch Template for Networking
Download Elevator Pitch Template for Networking Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF
Use this template to build your elevator pitch for any networking opportunities on the horizon. Customize your pitch by type of event, audience, and networking goal. Write and rehearse a simple but targeted elevator pitch by answering the questions on this template, and arrive at your next meeting with a concise pitch to help you stand apart from the crowd.
Elevator Pitch Template for Sales
Download Elevator Pitch Template for Sales Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF
When you have a new product or service to sell, an elevator pitch will help communicate your idea to potential buyers or customers. Answer questions about target customers, existing market solutions, product details and features, and next steps to develop a concise and effective elevator pitch.
Elevator Pitch Deck Template
Download Elevator Pitch Deck Template — Microsoft PowerPoint
Use this pitch deck template to highlight your product or service in a clear, concise presentation-ready format. Edit the customizable slides to present key information about your business, products, or services in a short time frame, including the problem(s) you hope to solve and how you will solve them.
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10 Business Pitch Examples for Your Next Client Meeting
By Letícia Fonseca , Oct 30, 2023
We tell presenters that it’s okay to feel scared during your upcoming sales pitch because investors will always be a pressing and intimidating bunch.
Great elevator pitches are similar to memorable stories. They intertwine visuals and narrative to keep the audience engaged. And it needs to be completed in the duration of an elevator ride.
In this guide, we share 10 business pitch examples you’ll want to use in your next investor or client meeting.
You don’t need design experience to create a business or sales pitch. With Venngage templates, you can create the best pitch decks in minutes.
What is a business pitch?
A business pitch is a concise and compelling presentation that is delivered to potential investors, clients or partners to communicate the value proposition of a business idea, product or service.
The main goal of a business pitch is to persuade the audience to take a particular action, such as investing in the business, partnering with the company or purchasing the product or service.
When creating a business pitch, always remember that a well-crafted business pitch should be clear, concise and tailored to the specific needs and interests of the target audience. It should effectively communicate the value proposition and potential of the business idea, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.
To help smoothen the process for you, I’ve curated 10 business pitch deck examples you can use for your next client meeting. Keep scrolling to find out!
10 business pitch examples you can use:
Choose a simple and short elevator pitch template, guy kawasaki elevator pitch examples for business, modern pitch deck example, effective startup elevator pitch examples.
- Business idea pitch deck
Dark marketing pitch deck
Classic airbnb pitch deck.
- Statement yellow elevator pitch example
- Short franchise elevator pitch example
Nonprofit pitch deck
Your elevator pitch needs to address the biggest business concern: the sales funnel .
This simple pitch deck example gets to the heart of the business problem within just 12 slides. It’s short, sharp and to the point, enough to keep prospective clients interested.
This is a great sales pitch deck template to accompany a brief presentation. You can easily share your business model with investors or clients.
Customize this template by adding your branding and business information. Include data about your target audience and team members. This is information that potential investors need to know.
With a Venngage business account, you can access the My Brand Kit feature, including the Autobrand tool.
Add your website when prompted and the editor will import your logos, fonts and brand colors . You’ll be able to add your branding to all your designs with a single click.
Related: How to Create an Effective Pitch Deck Design [+Examples]
The Guy Kawasaki method for elevator pitch templates has been successful for numerous businesses. The minimal text keeps investors focused during the entire pitch.
Presenters can fully concentrate on sharing the key metrics and pain points of their target market. The pitch deck includes overviews that guide investors’ thoughts.
Venngage has two versions of the conventional Guy Kawasaki elevator pitch format. This gradient version is a bit more modern. It certainly draws the eye without overwhelming the design.
The template’s simple and minimalist-inspired design makes it easy to customize for any brand completely. You can swap out the gradient panels and add brand-relevant product images instead.
You can also use this non-gradient pitch deck template. This is an ideal way to highlight your brand colors.
Make the easily customizable pitch deck examples shared above your own by adding your text, data and graphs.
Creating a pitch deck just got easier. Venngage’s real-time collaboration allows multiple members to work on a design at once. Share instant feedback and design a winning sales pitch.
This unconventional pitch deck uses icons to tell a compelling narrative. Visuals can spice up presentation decks and give make them aesthetically pleasing.
This template works well for startups and small businesses demonstrating to investors their brand’s potential.
If the deck is too dark, you can switch out the panel colors and icons. Add your own research to make your sales pitch convincing.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Picking and Using Brand Colors
Elevator pitch decks focus on quick, one-minute proposals to convince potential investors that you have something valuable.
This investor pitch deck example is excellent for a startup elevator pitch. With just five slides, this deck makes it easy to breeze through your business model.
The added charts make the proposal and presentation much more convincing. You can share the necessary details that investors will want to know about.
Import your data from Google sheets into the Venngage editor and easily create charts for your presentation.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Pie Charts
Business idea pitch deck
How do you highlight your business model to a potential customer? You start with your value proposition.
The below pitch deck example opens with the business’ value proposition in the first slide. It also includes many elegant ways to showcase the brand. Plus, it provides essential business data to investors simultaneously.
You can use the business idea pitch deck template above as a guideline for a good sales pitch of your own or modify and adjust it to your branding needs.
The marketing pitch deck example below has a dark but unique personality. It works well in a product launch setting or as an elevator pitch deck for marketers.
The color combination is unusual but striking. Not to mention, on-trend. Bold colors are one of the resurgent graphic design trends of the past few years.
You can use the above marketing pitch deck example as inspiration for numerous business presentations.
Art and multimedia businesses can also use it as a template for client presentations.
Related: 20+ Business Pitch Deck Templates to Win New Clients and Investors
We all know what Airbnb is and how much the business has grown over the past few years.
One of the best pitch deck examples you’ll see is Venngage’s version of the Airbnb pitch deck.
It uses sample data, addresses the core customer problem and outlines the business plan to capture the audience’s attention.
The pitch deck example above is one of the standard elevator pitch decks but manages to be sophisticated. There’s a finesse to this pitch deck design . That’s why it was so successful.
Statement yellow elevator pitch example
The yellow motif of this artistic pitch deck will immediately hold the audience’s attention.
The color is bright and bold but isn’t overpowering. Instead, only two slides use the background color across the whole slide.
The majority of the slides only include hints of yellow or use it as a highlight.
This template works for companies that use one prominent color across their branding. It’s also a professional pitch deck for small businesses, startups, or software companies.
Short franchise elevator pitch example
Pitch decks don’t depend on length to make a point. Instead, it uses fewer headers as overviews and depends on presenters to share pitch details with investors.
This is one of the best pitch deck examples for a short and classy presentation. It uses a small number of icons and bullet points to draw the eye and keep the presentation flowing.
As an elevator pitch, this is an effective method for maintaining the audience’s focus.
Related: A Complete Guide to Line Charts
This elevator pitch example for nonprofits uses minimalism and icons to keep potential investors engaged throughout the presentation.
The subtle use of color and icons asserts the brand’s personality. This template can work for businesses in the graphic design sector.
Alternatively, the nonprofit pitch deck example above can also work for digital marketing agencies that want a cutting-edge appeal to make themselves attractive to clients.
Famous sales pitch decks to inspire your pitch
Minimalist airbnb pitch deck.
This minimalist design of the Airbnb elevator pitch example shared above is perfect for startups.
You can easily add product or location photos and adjust the colors to suit your branding, alongside your logo and fonts.
Buffer pitch deck
The real Buffer pitch deck was confusing for investors. You can read more about it in our round-up of the best pitch decks .
Venngage designed a cleaner version using icons and charts. This makes the information easier to understand. You aren’t bombarding your audience with too many details.
Facebook pitch deck
The winning Facebook pitch deck was text-heavy. But what made it stand out was how many popular schools had already signed up with it.
Plus, the deck was nothing short of ambitious, with a clear expansion plan. It is no surprise that Facebook is the behemoth it is today.
How to write a business pitch deck
Creating a compelling business pitch deck is essential for effectively conveying your business idea to potential investors or partners. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write a business pitch deck:
- Cover slide: Include the name of your company and a visually appealing image that represents your business.
- Problem statement: Clearly define the problem your product or service solves. Use statistics or real-life examples to emphasize the significance of the problem.
- Solution: Describe your product or service and how it addresses the identified problem. Use visuals, such as product images or diagrams, to help illustrate your solution.
- Market opportunity: Present market research data to showcase the size, growth potential and trends of the target market. Use graphs, charts, or infographics to make the information more engaging.
- Business model: Explain how your business will generate revenue. Describe your pricing strategy, sales and distribution channels and any key partnerships or collaborations that will contribute to your business model’s success.
- Traction and milestones: Highlight any significant achievements, milestones, or partnerships that demonstrate the progress and potential of your business. This can include user metrics, revenue growth, or notable endorsements.
- Competitive analysis: Analyze your competitors and illustrate how your product or service stands out in the market. Highlight your unique selling points and any barriers to entry that provide your business with a competitive advantage.
- Go-to-market strategy: Outline your marketing and sales plan. Describe how you will reach and acquire customers, including your marketing channels, customer acquisition strategy and sales approach.
- Financial projections: Present your financial forecasts, including revenue projections, cost structures and expected profitability. Use charts or graphs to display key financial data and assumptions.
- Team: Introduce your team members and highlight their relevant expertise and experience. Emphasize how the team’s skills and strengths contribute to the success of the business.
- Use of funds: Explain how you plan to use the funds you are seeking. Provide a breakdown of how the investment will be allocated across different aspects of the business.
- Conclusion and call-to-action: Summarize the key points of your pitch and clearly state what action you want the investors to take. Encourage questions and provide your contact information for further discussions.
Remember to keep your pitch deck concise, visually appealing and easy to understand. Use high-quality visuals and compelling storytelling to make your business pitch deck engaging and memorable for your audience.
Four tips for creating a great elevator pitch
Here are four easy ways to recreate the pitch deck examples above or build your own pitch from a template.
Create a visual style for your sales pitches
A visual style or theme creates flow and sophistication in any presentation. These involve using recurring elements in a subtle and obvious manner.
For example, this Venngage template uses our color gradient along with elegant and bright icons.
Choose visual elements whose characteristics become the pitch deck’s focal point. Great pitch decks use the brand’s colors and visual motifs to keep the brand top of mind.
Give an overview of your business model
Pitch decks act as content anchors that guide your client toward your topic’s main points.
All the other information in your pitch deck or the explanations in your presentation will be aimed at supplementing that data.
Like this Uber elevator pitch template that emphasizes customer pain points and how the business will solve them.
Examples of added data include situational examples, charts and graphs and case studies .
Focus on your unique proposition
Your pitch deck has a central idea that is its unique selling proposition. Pitch deck creators build their pitch ideas around this aspect.
As a result, they’ll have a solid, communicative and persuading pitch deck that convinces investors.
Simplify hard concepts in your sales pitch
Scientific knowledge is enriching to those who understand its meaning.
Hard concepts, long-running and poorly constructed sentences and jargon make reading challenging for investors who have a very short time to spare.
This deck ensures that information isn’t overwhelming, either in the overview or the traction slide.
Make sure to simplify hard concepts and use simple words. That’s what the best pitch decks do.
Use templates to create successful pitch decks and win over investors
Delivering a good elevator pitch can be overwhelming. The pressure to get the tone right and impress investors is huge.
We’ve shared 10 elevator pitch examples that you can use as inspiration.
And with Venngage’s pitch deck templates, you get a competitive advantage. With no design experience, you can create elevator pitches that win over investors.
Business Plan Elevator Pitch
Jan 24, 2023
Create a version of your business story that would interest investors when you only have a brief opportunity to make your pitch!
What are the 5 essential parts of an elevator pitch.
To be effective, your elevator speech should be a succinct and persuasive summary of the key elements of your business plan. It should include the following elements:
1. The Problem Your Business Solves:
Clearly and concisely state the problem that your business addresses and the specific pain points of your target market. This will help the listener to understand the need for your product or service.
2. Who Has the Problem
Identify your target market and the characteristics that define them. This will help the listener to understand who will benefit from your product or service and how it is relevant to them.
3. How Big the Market for the Solution Is
Provide an estimate of the size of the market for your solution and demonstrate the potential for growth. This will help the listener to understand the potential for your business and the potential return on investment.
4. Your Qualifications to Run this Business
Highlight your experience, skills, and qualifications that make you the best person to run this business. This will help the listener to understand your credibility and build trust in your ability to succeed.
5. State your aspirational goals for this business.
Given the problem your business will solve, the size of the market and your qualifications, provide an enthusiastic statement about your expectations for success.
Additionally, it should include the Unique Value Proposition (UVP), the solution that your business is providing and a clear call to action that encourage the listener to take the next step and contact you. It should be practiced, tailored to the audience, and delivered with confidence.
Is a Business Plan Elevator Pitch Confidential?
An elevator pitch is not confidential or a secret because it is used to generate interest and gain support for a business idea or project. It is meant to be shared with potential investors, partners, and other stakeholders.
Share Your Elevator Pitch with Your Team
Having members of the team who are familiar with and can effectively deliver the elevator pitch is important because it helps to ensure that the message of the business is consistently communicated and that potential investors and partners receive the same information. Additionally, it allows for multiple team members to actively engage in the business development process and increase the chances of finding partners and investors.
Other Parts of Your Business Plan Remain Confidential
It’s important to note that while the elevator pitch is not confidential, other parts of the business plan may be and should be treated as such. It is important to establish clear guidelines for the sharing and handling of confidential information in order to protect the interests of the business.
The “Elevator Pitch” way of Thinking will Benefit You as an Entrepreneur
A new way of thinking.
Learning to think and talk in the format of an elevator pitch can be a valuable skill for anyone looking to start or grow a business. The process of distilling the key elements of a business idea or project into a brief, persuasive speech can help to clarify and solidify the concept in the mind of the presenter. This can lead to a deeper understanding of the business and its potential value, which can in turn make it easier to communicate that value to others.
In addition to helping the presenter understand their own business better, being able to deliver a short, compelling pitch can also be a powerful tool for persuasion.
The ability to clearly and concisely communicate the key elements of a business idea in a way that is both engaging and easy to understand can be a significant advantage when trying to gain support from potential investors, partners, or customers.
Always Be Prepared to Deliver
Having a well-crafted elevator pitch also allows you to be prepared for any situation that may arise. You never know when you may have the opportunity to present your idea to someone who can make a difference in your business.
Being able to deliver a clear and compelling message quickly and efficiently can make the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful one.
Will an Elevator Pitch work for any type of Business?
An elevator pitch can work regardless of what industry a business is in because it serves as a powerful tool for communicating the key elements of a business in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner.
Your message should always be designed to be brief and to the point, making it easy for entrepreneurs to convey the most important information about their business in a short amount of time.
One of the key advantages of an elevator pitch is that it is versatile and can be adapted to any industry. Whether a business is in manufacturing, software, retail, or service, the message can be tailored to highlight the unique value proposition and the specific pain points that the business addresses.
Additionally, regardless of the industry, an elevator speech can help an entrepreneur to clarify their own understanding of their business and its value proposition. By distilling the key elements of their business into a short, persuasive speech, entrepreneurs can gain a better understanding of what sets their business apart from competitors and what they should communicate to potential investors, partners, or customers.
Business Plan Elevator Pitch Template
We didn’t invent the wheel- we refined it.
After years of refinement, we’ve developed a business plan elevator pitch template that will help you define your business in terms investors want to hear. In fact, some who have used this template have reported that suddenly they figured out why ‘nobody was hearing me.’ Follow this template and you’ll be heard!
Short Enough and Important Enough to Memorize
Your introduction should start with a written version of your business plan elevator pitch. Your message should be your response to the hypothetical question, “If you found yourself in an elevator with a wealthy investor who might have an interest in your company, what would you say about your company in the time it takes the elevator to go from the top floor to the lobby?”
Your elevator pitch should be memorized and practiced often. Its primary purpose is to get someone to want to talk to you again after the elevator ride is over. Similarly, if your introduction starts with a written version of your elevator pitch, it should entice someone to read more or call you in for a meeting.
Because it’s so important, we’ll take extra care to walk you through writing your elevator pitch. This step-by-step structure and the examples that follow will help you with the process.
An elevator pitch, sometimes called an elevator speech, is a brief, persuasive speech that summarizes the key elements of a business plan in a way that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator, typically 30 seconds to two minutes.
The goal of an elevator pitch is to spark interest in the business and generate leads, funding or partnership. The elevator pitch should include the unique value proposition, the target market, and the solution that the business is providing to their pain points.
Start Strong, Keep it Simple and Get the Meeting.
Elevator pitches should be tailored to the audience and should be practiced and delivered with confidence. It should be simple and easy to understand, it should have a strong opening to grab the listener’s attention, and it should end with a clear call to action, such as a follow-up call or meeting.
When is an Elevator Pitch Needed?
An elevator pitch for a business plan is typically needed when an entrepreneur or business owner is seeking funding, partnerships, or clients. It can be used in a variety of settings such as networking events, trade shows, pitch competitions, and meetings with investors or potential customers. They can also be useful in situations where the entrepreneur only has a short amount of time to make a good impression and convey the key elements of their business.
Additionally, an elevator pitch can be used as an introduction or a summary of a more comprehensive business plan, it can be used as a tool for the business owner to align their team’s vision and message and to help them to be prepared when the opportunity arises.
Fill-in-the-Blank Elevator Pitch Template
Before you start to create your own elevator pitch , read through this entire section, including the examples at the end. Then, by following the elevator pitch examples and the template below, you’ll be able to create a compelling version for your own business in no time.
Start with a clear mind and a blank sheet of paper. As you’ll see, each of the steps below asks you to write a very specific sentence or two, or in some cases, simply fill in the blanks of the sentence provided. For fill-in-the-blank sentences, the portions you are to supply are bracketed [like this].
[Name of your company] provides [your products or services] for [describe the specific segment of the market you will serve] who [describe the problem this solves for them].
[Enter one sentence that tells why this business is needed and by whom.]
[Make a statement about the size and/or growth trend of the industry.]
[Write a sentence or two, no more, to address your qualifications to run the business.)
[Make an honest, upbeat, substantive and credible claim about the business potential in terms of sales or profitability.]
Elevator Pitch Examples
Below are elevator pitches examples for two companies: WhirlyBird Yogurt Stores and JD Software Solutions. For each company, you’ll find a “good” example and a “not-so-good” example. The good examples follow the formula above.
The Format Works for Any Type of Business
You’ll notice that this elevator pitch template works very well even with two completely different businesses. The poor examples demonstrate common mistakes in elevator pitches.
Read these examples and the critiques that follow, to avoid the common pitfalls. When you are finished with your elevator pitch, make sure you’ve followed the formula above and eliminated the common mistakes. It should have a similar tone to the “good” examples in this section.
Examples Written to be Easily Understood and Then Adapted for Your Business
The first example is intentionally written for a simple business that is easy for a broad audience to understand. Your business may be more complex or high-tech, but the approach to writing your elevator pitch will be the same.
Example of a Good Elevator Pitch
Whirly Bird Yogurt
Each WhirlyBird Yogurt store will offer 10 flavors of yogurt and 25 toppings to people within a five-mile radius of their carefully selected locations, ideal for people who want a healthy meal or snack.
As an example, now the 300,000 people who live and work in Meadowbrook won’t have to drive more than five minutes to get great yogurt, served by friendly people in a sparkling clean store. Frozen yogurt has been the fastest growing category in over-the-counter snack foods for the past 3 years, with year-over-year growth rates of 17%.
WhirlyBird’s founder, Ronald Smith, has 10 years of experience as a regional manager of quick-service restaurants, where he learned how to run efficient, profitable stores.
With that experience, Mr. Smith is confident about opening WhirlyBird Yogurt Stores at the rate of 1 every 6 months and building a business that is profitable from year one and surpasses $25 million in revenue within 5 years.
Example of a Not-so-Good Elevator Pitch
WhirlyBird Yogurt Stores will be poised to take over the competition because our products are the most healthy and nutritious available. The difference is gluten-free products that don’t have the toxins found in other yogurts. All of our yogurts contain two forms of live bacteria: bulgaricus and thermophilus.
Our founder, Ron Smith, has been eating it for years and credits that with his ability to run three marathons a year at age 45. As more people learn about the detoxifying powers of bacteria-rich yogurt, WhirlyBird’s business will soar.
What’s Wrong with the example above?
The pitch assumes that the reader is as informed, health-conscious and passionate about yogurt as is the founder. Nothing is mentioned about the size or growth of the health-conscious market versus the segment of people who just like to eat things that taste good. It is admirable that the founder runs so many marathons, but has this person ever run a business? It doesn’t say, and that’s the problem.
Let’s move on to other elevator pitch examples.
Example Two: Good Elevator Pitch
JD Software Solutions
JD Software provides custom online commerce and back-office solutions to businesses with less than $10 million in sales that can’t afford the high prices of big-name consulting firms.
These business customers will be eager to drive their sales and improve efficiency, now that it can be accomplished with a fraction of the time and money required by the big-name firms.
Our founder, John DelMonte, has 8 years’ experience as a senior project manager for EDS, where he learned how to manage projects from start to finish using skilled independent contractors.
With a market of over 8,000 small businesses in San Diego with revenue ranging from $1 million and $10 million, JD Software Solutions will be cash-flow positive and profitable in less than 12 months.
Example Two: Not-So-Good Elevator Pitch
Technology is moving fast and JD Software Solutions is on the leading edge. All of our developers are Web2.0 certified and have been developing Cloud applications that work asynchronously since Ajax was first introduced.
We can save clients thousands of dollars using MySQL or if they’re tied to Oracle or SQL Server, we can implement open source middleware to perform data transformations in real time. We have that experience. Since the customer actually saves money over alternatives, selling will not be difficult and the potential of our business is unlimited.
What’s Wrong with the Example Above?
The pitch doesn’t tell about the problem that the business solves for its customers, who its customers will be, or how the founder is qualified to run a business. It also contains vague claims, such as, “JD Software Solutions is on the leading edge.”
Based on this message, the reader would understand that the company has qualified software engineers, but a lender or investor wants to know that the founders can run a business.
Build on these Elevator Pitch Examples
Use the elevator pitch examples above to craft your own compelling message. You’re going to find out that by saying the right things, you’ll be able to make your business sound a lot more interesting in less time!
What do Bankers and Venture Capitalists think about Elevator Pitches?
A banker or venture capitalist may have a variety of opinions, depending on the specific individual and their experience. In general, however, they would likely view an effective elevator pitch as an important tool for quickly and efficiently evaluating a business idea or project.
Business People Appreciate When You’ve Done Your Homework
Individuals accustomed to being “pitched” would appreciate and respect when someone has put the thought and discipline into thinking about the most critical points of their business.
A well-crafted elevator pitch should provide a clear and concise overview of the business, including its key value proposition, target market, and financial projections. This information can be useful for a banker or venture capitalist to quickly understand the potential of the business and determine whether it is worth further investigation.
Additionally, an effective elevator pitch should be able to capture the attention and interest of the listener, making them want to learn more about the business. This is particularly important for venture capitalists, who are often presented with a large number of business ideas and need to quickly identify those with the most potential.
You’re Saving them Time and Making it Easy to Get Feedback
A banker or venture capitalist would view an effective elevator pitch as an important tool for quickly evaluating a business idea or project. A well-crafted message should provide clear and concise information about the business, and also should be able to capture the attention and interest of the listener, making them want to learn more.
Elevator Pitch Contest
There are actually contests to see who can present the best elevator pitch! You might not be ready to go on Shark Tank, just yet, but a refined elevator pitch will get you closer.
What is an Elevator Pitch Contest?
An elevator pitch contest is an event or competition where participants are given the opportunity to deliver their pitch to a panel of judges or a live audience. The goal of the contest is typically to identify the best and most persuasive presentations, and to provide a platform for entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and other business-minded individuals to showcase their ideas and potentially secure funding or other forms of support.
Elevator pitch contests are often held by startup incubators, business schools, or other organizations that support entrepreneurship. They can be open to anyone with a business idea or be targeted to specific industries or sectors.
The contestants are given a specific time frame to deliver their elevator pitch, usually between 30 seconds to 2 minutes and they are judged on several criteria such as, clear and concise communication, the ability to capture the attention and interest of the listener, the potential of the business idea and the overall performance.
The winner of the contest may receive prizes such as cash, mentorship, or other resources to help them develop their business. Some contests may also provide opportunities for participants to connect with potential investors, partners, or customers.
Overall, an elevator pitch contest is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-up companies to showcase their ideas, gain exposure, and potentially secure funding or other forms of support.
Elevator Pitch Summary
Follow this elevator pitch formula and you’ll start turning heads immediately! It’s more than just writing your elevator pitch. This section is intended to do something much more important.
Learning to Communicate about Your Business in a New Way
The elevator pitch format we have provided, helps you talk about your business to others, in ways they can understand. Chances are, you are going into a particular type of business because of your experience, maybe even your family experience. You have knowledge, expertise and passion for the business. You can’t expect others to understand where that passion comes from.
Be Compelling to Others
The elevator pitch examples, templates and background you’ve just read, will help you think about your business in a way that is compelling to others, even if they understand very little about your industry. Equally important, this will help you to think about your business purely in business terms, minus the emotions.
Start Writing and Using Your Elevator Pitch Today!
Write your elevator pitch. Memorize it. Then start trying it wherever it seems appropriate. Watch the reactions you get. The interest. The questions. Hone your elevator pitch and include it in the opening of your business plan and watch good things happen.
More than any other part of your plan, this will help accelerate your thinking and ability to convey the excitement of your new business.
Published: July 19, 2023
Whether you're introducing yourself at a networking event, telling new colleagues about your business, or pitching to another professional — you want to capture attention and get it fast.
In situations like these, you need a short and easy-to-grasp explanation of your company and its products, like an elevator pitch.
In this post, we'll discuss why you should use a pitch, discuss different types, learn how to write your own, and give you tips on how to make a memorable one.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch — also known as elevator speech — is a short, memorable description of what you do and/or what you sell. The goal is to earn a second conversation, not to convince the person you're talking to that they should hire you or buy your solution.
An elevator pitch is never an opportunity to close a deal. It's an opportunity to close more of your prospect's attention and time. It's a quick introduction to you, your company, and how you can help your prospect.
Elevator Speech Example
Hi, I'm an account manager with Vacation Locator. We help travelers across the world plan their perfect holiday based on their interests, budget, and location preferences. With travel experts assigned to each account, we find the best deals and most unique experiences for each client, so they can enjoy their vacation, instead of stressing out about planning it. On average, we're able to save travelers up to 30% on expenses such as hotel and airfare.
Download Now: Free Elevator Pitch Templates
E-pitch templates to better sell your product, fund your business, or network.
- 4 Fundraising Pitch Templates
- 2 Networking Pitch Templates
- 2 Sales Pitch Templates
You're all set!
Click this link to access this resource at any time.
Free Elevator Pitch Templtes
Fill out the form to get the free e-pitch templates., when to use an elevator pitch.
Pull it out at networking events, conferences, warm calls — and even job interviews or career fairs. Keep your elevator pitch goal-oriented (e.g., "I help companies like yours increase production by up to 30% without additional cost.") and always end with a business card or request to connect on LinkedIn.
If you're curious about what an elevator pitch should look like, or simply ready to jumpstart the pitch creation process, download the templates below. We've compiled several types of templates — from sales pitches to funding requests.
No matter which type of pitch you're delivering, concision is essential. You don't want to waste your prospect's, investor's, or fellow professional's time. With that in mind, how much time should you spend on an elevator pitch?
How long should an elevator pitch be?
An effective elevator pitch is meant to be no more than 30 seconds, just like the length of time you ride in an elevator. You want to keep your words easily digestible, so avoid trying to get too deep into specifics as it can drag on the conversation — and lose your prospect's attention.
You should have an effective elevator pitch prepared before you need it, since you have such a short time to deliver it.
To show your value in under a minute, your pitch needs purpose, flow, and a hook to reel in attention.
How to Write an Elevator Pitch
Download Free E-Pitch Templates
Get your pitch started by using HubSpot's easy-to-use templates. As you write your pitch, you can adjust it as required to address the specific needs of the recipient.
The templates include three different types of pitches: For sales prospects, investors, and potential network connections. No matter what you aim to do with your pitch, having a strong starting framework is essential. Telling your or your company's story in less than a minute can be a challenge, and using templates can help you more effectively hone your message.
Once you've downloaded your templates, tailor them by following the steps below.
2. Introduce yourself.
Before jumping into your elevator pitch, you'll need to introduce yourself to the person you're talking to. Write a sentence about who you are and what your role is at the company (e.g., "I'm a sales rep at Better Than the Rest Cable."). This will help you start the conversation off on the right foot.
Remember not to ramble. Researcher Diana Tamir shows that when we talk about ourselves, our brains show activity in the areas linked to value and motivation. Our bodies are rewarded when we talk about ourselves, so, especially when we're in high-stress situations, we resort to what feels good.
Tamir says , "This helps to explain why people so obsessively engage in this behavior. It's because it provides them with some sort of subjective value: It feels good, basically."
The problem with rambling in an elevator pitch scenario is that you haven't earned the prospect's interest or attention yet. They don't care who you are yet, how long you've worked in your company, or what job you had before. Keep the information about yourself to a minimum and earn the right to share more later in the deal.
3. State your company's mission.
Have a clear understanding of what your company does. What's the company's mission and goals for its product or service? Include a section in your pitch where you introduce the company. The more you know about the business, the easier it will be to cater your pitch to the person you're talking to.
For example, "I'm a sales rep at Better Than the Rest Cable. We help hotels across the U.S. pair with the perfect cable provider and plan for their region and needs."
This is a succinct description of what the company does — without getting into the weeds. If you were to be cut off after these two sentences, the prospect would still know exactly who you are and what your company does.
4. Explain the company value proposition.
What does your company do exceptionally well that sets its product or service apart from the rest? Write a brief, 1-2 sentence statement about the value the product or service provides to current customers.
You've introduced yourself and your company, now it's time to get to the goods. Let's see what that looks like:
"I'm a sales rep at Better Than the Rest Cable. We help hotels across the U.S. pair with the perfect cable provider and plan for their region and needs. With regional experts assigned to each account, we help hotels identify the most cost-effective and guest-delighting cable plan for them."
In one sentence, you've told the prospect what sets us apart and how you can bring them value. You've likely piqued their interest, but how can you really grab their attention? Read on.
5. Grab their attention with a hook.
Pull in your audience with an exciting story about a customer or the company founders. Or offer up a fascinating fact or statistic about the product. An attention-grabbing hook keeps people engaged with what you're saying. Let's finish up our pitch below with an attention-grabbing statistic.
"I'm a sales rep at Better Than the Rest Cable. We help hotels across the U.S. pair with the perfect cable provider and plan for their region and needs. With regional experts assigned to each account, we help hotels identify the most cost-effective and guest-delighting cable plan for them. On average, we're able to save hotels up to 25% on their annual cable bills."
6. Read and edit the pitch.
Read your pitch aloud and make sure it sounds natural. If your pitch is overly formal, you could come off as stuffy and uptight. Instead, make your pitch conversational. This will keep your audience captivated and more likely to continue the conversation.
Elevator Pitch Templates
Now that you know how to write an elevator pitch, download HubSpot's eight free elevator pitch templates to put your learnings into action. These templates can be used to make a sale, start networking, or jumpstart a deal for business capital.
Featured Resource: 8 Free Elevator Pitch Templates
Our templates follow established best practices for elevator pitches. Each one includes:
- A personal greeting: Start every pitch by establishing a human connection and making your prospect feel seen and heard.
- A statement of your company's mission: Your mission can be blended with your value proposition and vice versa. But this piece of information is essential to get your prospect's buy-in, quickly.
- A hook to get your audience's attention: The hook can be as simple as a probing question or a highly personalized statement that's been tailored to your prospect's needs. Either way, the hook will often seal the deal.
- A real example: See the template in action by reading a filled-out example, allowing you to visualize what your pitch may look like as you refine and edit it.
Using these templates allows you to save precious time and focus on the essence of the pitch instead of minute details, such as how to start it off or how to organize it. Your prospect's time is valuable, and so is yours.
30 Second Elevator Pitch Examples
If you're looking for some inspiration, look no further. The following elevator pitch examples illustrate different ways to describe what you can offer in 30 seconds or less.
1. An Attention-Grabbing Question
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
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.
- 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
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.
- It has a "surprise ending."
- It illustrates how valuable the product is creatively.
- It forces you to compare your current situation to a better world.
4. An Outlandish Stat
7. The Reality Check
- It helps you understand exactly how the product works with a simple example.
8. The Joke
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
4. Don't under-emphasize the problem you're solving.
It's possible that you may run into issues when putting reports together for your boss. For instance, things may go awry every once in a while, such as disappearing data or disagreeing sources. With AnswerASAP, you can lay those worries to rest. We have a few features that will help you with those issues if you ever run into them.
- It treats a customer problem as a possibility and not an urgent reality.
- It's vague ("things may go awry") and doesn't emphasize how those issues can hurt the prospect.
- It doesn't specify the product features that will solve the prospect's challenges.
- Because it never goes into detail, it shows little research and care.
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.
Elevator Speech Best Practices
1. Keep it brief.
The purpose of an elevator speech is to be as brief as possible while capturing a prospect's attention. Try to stay under sixty seconds — including your introduction. Even if you're delivering your elevator speech during a formal presentation, where you have time to elaborate if needed, keep the bulk of your pitch under sixty seconds.
If you don't, you won't be able to use your pitch when you're chatting with prospects in situations with tighter time constraints — such as a tradeshow or a chance meeting.
2. Practice multiple times beforehand.
You may have written the most incredible elevator speech for your product, but if you hamper the delivery by misremembering or even forgetting parts of your pitch, it won't be an effective tool. Be sure to practice by yourself, with your manager, and with your colleagues.
The goal isn't just to memorize it, but to practice your tone, pace, and overall delivery.
3. Come prepared with additional materials.
When you're delivering your elevator pitch, be prepared to provide your prospect with what they need to continue the conversation. Whether that's a business card, a brochure, or a short demo, carry all that you might need with you.
The elevator speech is your opportunity to begin a deal on the right foot and speed the nurturing process. Typically, you might take weeks emailing a prospect before they're ready to schedule a meeting with you, but an elevator pitch speeds that work. You want to have the materials you need to keep the conversation going.
4. Be positive and enthusiastic.
It's essential to show your personality during your elevator pitch, but whether you're a quiet, calm introvert or a charming, excitable extrovert, you should still convey positivity and enthusiasm.
You can use your body language and expression to keep things positive, even if your tone is quiet and calm. You might highlight the amazing benefits your prospect will enjoy if they sign up, or tell a positive story from one of your previous clients.
Most importantly, you should make it obvious that you want to help your prospect more than anything — which will make you sound positive by default.
5. Vary the tone of your voice.
As you deliver your pitch, vary your tone and modulation to keep your listener engaged. This will help you emphasize the most important parts of your speech — such as the benefits — while keeping your prospect's attention. The pitch may be short, but you'll be surprised at how easily people can tune out based on your tone alone. We don't want to risk it! Especially if it's a prospect you've never spoken with.
Reel in Clients with an Effective Elevator Pitch
While a short speech may seem insignificant, those first conversations can hold some weight. With a well-crafted pitch, you can turn a single conversation with a prospect into a long-lasting customer, or even into a business partner. We hope you found these examples helpful and are inspired to craft your own effective elevator pitch.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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How to Create an Elevator Pitch with Examples
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How to Write a Perfect Elevator Speech
What’s an elevator pitch, and how can it help your career? An elevator pitch —also known as an elevator speech—is a quick synopsis of your background and experience. The reason it’s called an elevator pitch is that it should be short enough to present during a brief elevator ride.
This speech is all about you: who you are, what you do, and what you want to do (if you’re job hunting).
Your elevator pitch is a way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who don’t know you.
Done right, this short speech helps you introduce yourself to career and business connections in a compelling way. It can help you build your network , land a job, or connect with new colleagues on your first day of work.
When and How to Use an Elevator Speech
If you’re job searching, you can use your elevator pitch at job fairs and career expos , and online in your LinkedIn summary or Twitter bio, for example. An elevator speech is a great way to gain confidence in introducing yourself to hiring managers and company representatives.
You can also use your elevator pitch to introduce yourself at networking events and mixers. If you’re attending professional association programs and activities, or any other type of gathering, have your pitch ready to share with those you meet.
Your elevator pitch can be used during job interviews, especially when you’re asked about yourself. Interviewers often begin with the question, “ Tell me about yourself ” — think of your elevator pitch as a super-condensed version of your response to that request.
What to Say
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.
- KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET: Your elevator speech is a sales pitch. Be sure you can deliver your message in 60 seconds or less.
- FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIALS: Say who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve.
- BE POSITIVE AND PERSUASIVE: Your time is limited. Focus on what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do. Be upbeat and flexible.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: Deliver your speech to a friend or record it, so that you can be sure that your message is clear.
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How to Create a Winning Elevator Pitch for Your App Lucie Allaire, founder of the Guiltless To Go healthy food ordering app, explains how she scored a major investment on "Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch."
By Entrepreneur Staff • Oct 31, 2023
- Do your research — what have the investors you are meeting with said yes to and what have they turned down in the past?
- Practice your pitch with different people and in different settings. Make yourself uncomfortable, and get used to interruptions and the unexpected so you don't get knocked off your game when it counts.
Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch is the show where contestants get into an elevator and have just 60 seconds to pitch their business to our board of investors. In this ongoing article series, we're celebrating the entrepreneurs who walked out with a win and sharing their tips for pitching success.
This week, Lucie Allaire from Guiltless To Go , an app that lets users find healthy local restaurant meals and grocery options, explains her strategy that resulted in a $25,000 investment from investor and Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph.
Watch Lucie's Pitch
How did you prepare for the show?
I prepared for my pitch by reviewing and evaluating all Season 9 episodes. I took notes on what the investors thought was a good vs. lousy pitch, what was missing in a pitch if it wasn't accepted, what the entrepreneurs did right, and what they did wrong. Then, I used that information to craft my perfect pitch, entailing all the elements of what I think the investors wanted to hear, and timed it out perfectly to fall within 57-60 seconds. Then, I practiced it repeatedly in different situations in front of other people to ensure I had it memorized perfectly. I knew that when nerves take over, one can quickly freeze, forget, and sabotage one's pitch. I wanted to be sure that wouldn't happen to me.
Next, I documented every question in Season 9 that the investors in the boardroom asked, and I crafted my answers to all of them. I wanted to ensure I would be ready for any question that came at me with a well-thought-out answer. Then, I made notecards and practiced my responses.
Finally, I ensured I had all the marketing materials for my display table. Foam boards printed, table cloth, PC monitors displaying the app, and To Go Box props symbolizing our on-demand platform.
Related: How to Create a Winning Elevator Pitch — The Founders of Smoodi and Their Giant Dancing Pineapple Explain How.
Did it go as you expected?
I thought I would nail my pitch and get in the boardroom, but after reviewing past episodes, I wasn't sure if I would be offered a deal since we are still pre-revenue. I thought I would get some app validation but would be told I was "too early." That almost happened until the very end. Marc Randolph changed his mind and offered me a small check at my same valuation. Even though it was much less than what I was asking, I was thrilled to do a deal with him as he was my first-choice investor, and I believe with his experience, he'll bring a lot of value. However, everything is subject to due diligence, so fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly until the deal is final.
Why do you think they opened the doors?
I think the investors opened the doors and gave me the green light to enter the boardroom because I nailed my pitch.
Given Marc Randolph's background as former CEO and Co-Founder of Netflix, I knew he would be the investor who would understand our on-demand model the most. Netflix provides on-demand streaming services, while we'll provide healthy on-demand food services. Different companies but similar in that we're both digital platforms offering customer experiences. Marc understands the power of technology and the multiple behind a company that can find Product Market Fit. If all goes well, it could be a home run for any of our investors, and I believe with the right strategic investors behind us, there will be a good possibility we can achieve this.
How did the negotiations go? Would you do anything differently?
Considering one minute I thought I was going to be passed on, and the next Marc offered me a deal, I don't think I would have done a thing differently. In hindsight, I could have tried to negotiate a higher investment amount from Marc, but since he kept the investment offer at my valuation, I was quite pleased with the outcome.
What do you plan to do with your investment?
This investment will extend our runway and be put towards future app development and marketing. After the episode goes live, we plan to start our first official round of raising capital in October.
Related: Watch All Episodes of Elevator Pitch Streaming Free
What did it mean to you personally to get in the doors and walk out with a win?
Personally, it was a huge accomplishment for me and the company. This is the first time I'm building a company where I need to raise capital, and it has proved that I am capable. Until now, my partner and I decided to bootstrap our company to build our MVP, and it was a fantastic validation from someone like Marc to be our potential first check-in.
What is your advice for anyone thinking of applying to be on a future episode?
Go for it. Prepare, practice, and visualize yourself winning a deal. It starts with believing you can do it.
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How to Write an Elevator Pitch
What’s an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a brief e-mail summary of your business. Or a short story that you can tell in the course of a elevator ride. You use the elevator pitch to get meetings with prospective investors. Typically, you ask someone whom the investor trusts to pass along your elevator pitch […]
What’s an elevator pitch?
- Babak Nivi likes helping entrepreneurs succeed. He’s helped start companies like Songbird, Grockit, and Kovio that have been backed by firms including Sequoia, Benchmark, and Kleiner Perkins.
ideas to numbers .. simple financial projections
Home > Business Plan > Elevator Pitch for your Business Plan
Elevator Pitch for your Business Plan
…we have this idea…
The elevator pitch gives the investor a framework for the rest of the business plan, encourages them to read on giving you a chance to tell the rest of the story, and hopefully leads to a meeting.
The ideal elevator pitch needs to deal with and answer the following questions:
- What customer problem are you solving?
- What’s your solution to the problem?
- What’s your product?
- Who is the target market?
The elevator pitch sets the framework for the rest of the business plan. Although it should be possible to draft an initial version before completing the business plan, it is important to review the pitch following completion, to ensure that they are consistent with each other.
This is part of the financial projections and Contents of a Business Plan Guide a series of posts on what each section of a simple business plan should include. The next post in this series is the management team .
About the Author
Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Plan Projections. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University.
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How to build a winning elevator pitch in 7 steps:
Put it all together into a presentation, bonus component: the one-sentence pitch, view this as an infographic:, the 7 key components of a perfect elevator pitch.
8 min. read
Updated October 27, 2023
Whether you are trying to raise money from angel investors or venture capitalists for your business, or just want to perfect your business strategy, a solid elevator pitch is an essential tool for achieving your goals. An elevator pitch that describes your business in a nutshell can be delivered as a speech ( ideally in 60 seconds or less ), a pitch presentation, or as a one-page overview of your business.
An easy way to think of your pitch is as an executive summary that provides a quick overview of your business and details why you are going to be successful.
1. Define the problem
The most important thing is to identify a problem that is worth solving . If your product or service doesn’t solve a problem that potential customers have, you don’t have a viable business model . Simple as that.
Now, you don’t have to be solving a massive problem where the solution will change the world. That’s great if you are tackling such a problem, but for most businesses, that’s not the reality. Problems can be simple—and that’s OK. As long as you, as an entrepreneur, are solving a problem that customers have, you can build a business. Here are a few examples of problem statements that could be highlighted in a pitch:
“Transferring photos from mobile phones is a difficult and complex process.”
“There are no good Chinese restaurants in Eugene, Oregon.”
“Analyzing results from MRI tests is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.”
Try and distill your customer’s problem down to its simplest form. Ideally you should be able to describe the problem you are solving in one or two sentences, or potentially a few bullet points. In the long run, your company may solve multiple customer problems, but initially you will be more successful if you just focus on one core problem.
2. Describe your solution
Too many entrepreneurs start their elevator pitch by describing their solution: a product or service that they think the market needs. They skip step 1 and don’t identify the problem they are solving. As a smart entrepreneur, you can avoid this mistake by first making sure that you are solving a real problem that customers actually have before you define your solution.
Once you have clearly defined the problem you are solving, you need to explain your solution. A clear problem statement will help you focus your solution on solving that one problem, and not stretch the solution to solve multiple potential problems.
Again, try and distill your solution description down to as few words as possible. You should be able to describe your solution at a high level in just a few sentences or bullet points.
3. Know your target market
As you define the problem you are solving, you should naturally be thinking about the potential customers who have this problem.
In the target market section of your elevator pitch, you will define exactly who has the problem you are solving and figure out how many potential customers you will be trying to sell to.
You should try and divide your target market into segments—smaller groups of people whom you expect to market to.
It’s always tempting to define a target market that’s as large as possible, but that does not make for a credible pitch. For example, if you have a new shoe company, it would be tempting to say that your target market is “everyone.” After all, everyone has feet and everyone needs shoes, don’t they?
But, realistically, your new shoe company is probably targeting a specific group of people, such as athletes. Within this group of athletes, you might segment the market into additional groups such as runners, walkers, hikers, and so on.
How big is your potential market?
Once you have created a good list of target market segments, you’ll need to do a little market research and estimation to figure out how many people are in each segment. Take a look at our Bplans market research resource guide .
What do your customers already spend?
Next, try and estimate what an average person in each group currently spends each year on their current solution to the problem you are solving. Now, just multiply the number of people by how much they currently spend and you will have a realistic “market size” number or your target market.
In your pitch, you will want to talk about the market segments you are targeting, how many people are in each segment, and the total amount they currently spend. These numbers are critical and must be part of any good pitch presentation.
If you need more help with this section, check out our guide on defining your target market .
4. Describe the competition
Every business has competition . Even if no one has come up with a solution similar to what you have come up with, your potential customers are solving the problem they have with some alternative.
For example, the competitors to the first cars weren’t other cars. The competition was horses and walking. As you think about your competition and existing alternatives, think about what advantages your solution offers over the competition.
Are you faster, cheaper, or better? Why would a potential customer choose your solution over someone else’s? Describing your key differentiators from your competition is a great exercise and ensures that you are building a unique solution that customers will hopefully choose over other alternatives. These differentiators will also help you focus your marketing on the key value proposition that you offer, but your competitors don’t.
5. Share who’s on your team
As great as your idea is, only the right team will be able to effectively execute and build a great company.
In the “team” portion of your elevator pitch, you should talk about why you and your business partners are the right team to execute your vision, and why your team’s skill set is precisely what is needed to lead your company to success. People often say that a company’s leadership team is more important than the idea—and this is often true. No matter how great or unique your solution is, if you don’t have the right people on board, you won’t be able to see it to fruition.
It’s also O.K. to not have an entire team in place. It’s more important to understand that you have gaps in your management team and that you need to hire the right people. Knowing what your team is missing and recognizing that you need to find the right talent to fill the gaps is an important trait in any entrepreneur.
6. Include a financial summary
For a great pitch, you don’t necessarily have to show a detailed five-year financial forecast . What’s more important is that you understand your business model .
“Business model” may sound like something complex, but fortunately it’s not. All you need to know is who pays your bills and what kinds of expenses you will have.
For example, if you are starting an online news site, the customers that pay the bills are your advertisers. Your costs will be writers, graphic designers and web hosting. As you learn more about your industry, it is certainly helpful to put together a sales forecast and expense budget . You will want to ensure that you can build a profitable company based on your assumptions. But, for your elevator pitch, a won’t have to include a detailed forecast. You should certainly have a forecast completed so that you can talk about the numbers if you get questions and provide the forecast if your potential investors are interested in learning more about your business.
7. Show traction with milestones
The final key element of your elevator pitch is conveying your business milestones, or your schedule .
Here you will talk about your upcoming goals and when you plan to achieve them. If you have already accomplished notable milestones, you should mention those. For example, if you have invented a new medical device, potential investors will want to know where you are in the clinical trial process. What steps have been accomplished and what’s the projected schedule for final approvals from the FDA? If you are opening a restaurant, investors will want to know about plans to sign a lease, design the interior, and open for business.
Talking about upcoming milestones in your pitch makes your business a reality. This section of the pitch illustrates how well you have thought through the detailed steps it’s going to take to open your business and start making money.
If you’re lucky enough to have made progress on your business and have evidence that your business is going to be a success, you’ll want to talk about that, too. For example, if you have pre-orders for your product or other evidence of strong customer interest, investors will want to hear about the successes you’ve had—this is often called traction .
If you need help putting together your pitch deck for a presentation, check out our article that outlines exactly what slides you should include in your presentation and what should be on each slide .
You can also create a Lean Plan which is a great hand-out if you are giving an elevator speech and also a good solution for sending a pitch via email. Check out our Lean Plan template if that sounds like the right solution for you.
Let’s say you’re at a dinner party and one of the guests asks you, “So, what do you do?” Can you answer in one sentence so that they understand your company?
Being able to distill what your company does into one simple sentence is incredibly valuable. It helps you, as an entrepreneur, focus on exactly what you do and who you’re doing it for. It also helps you clearly market your business. A simple headline at the top of your website or brochures will communicate the core essence of your company and generate interest in learning more about what you do.
There are certainly other components you can include in your pitch, but these seven are really the “must-have” pieces, whether it’s written down in a pitch deck presentation or literally delivered as a speech in an actual elevator. If I’ve missed anything that you think is critical to include, please let me know on Twitter @noahparsons .
See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan
Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan.
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Business Elevator Pitch Examples and Template
Business Elevator Template
You can take many different approaches when formulating your business elevator pitch. However, it must contain certain elements. Here is a short template which you can follow to ensure your pitch contains all of the essential information you need to convey.
1. Explain who you are
An elevator pitch must include a short sentence to tell the prospect who you are. This is typically used at the start of the pitch. It only needs to be as simple as:
“Hi, my name David. I’m a small business consultant working in the tech sector.”
2. Explain what you do
Include another short sentence which explains what you do. This will give the prospect an immediate sense of what you are offering and what your capabilities might be. This explanation is usually 1 to 2 sentences long, however, you could extend it slightly to build more cred-inline-blockility.
“I help small businesses improve productivity and increase profits by providing world-class rostering software.”
3. Identify your target audience and how you help them
Explain that you primarily work with people like the prospect, helping them to improve their businesses or somehow make their lives easier. It is also important to clearly identify the problem that you can solve for the prospect or the opportunity you can help them take advantage of.
“From my many years working as a small business consultant, I discovered that business owners were struggling to find the time to manage rosters. So I decided to develop software that streamlines the entire process, enabling business owners to create rosters in a fraction of the time. This software can save you many hours each week, which you can put back into your business.”
4 . Explain why your business is different
Having some product or service differentiation is essential, so squeeze in a few sentences that mention this aspect. Differentiation could come in many forms including price, service quality, warranty, and features.
“Unlike other rostering solutions, my application is specifically tailored to suit the needs of small business owners. My experience as a small business consultant has helped me develop a product like no other.”
5. Give the prospect the opportunity to continue the conversation
The primary goal of the elevator pitch is perking the prospect’s interest and to secure a meeting or further interaction. Include a call to action to get that follow up meeting. This could be as simple as:
“I’d love to tell you more about my software, here is my card.”
6. Use a hook
A “hook” is some interesting, funny, or novel theme in your elevator pitch. It will make the pitch more memorable and improve the chances of further contact with the prospect. It could be a startling statistic, question, story, or funny anecdote. I’ll share a few hooks below in the elevator pitch examples.
Business Elevator Pitch Examples
Here are a few tried and tested business elevator pitches that are very effective. Use these examples as hooks, adding the other information outlined in the template above.
Use a startling statistic
Instead of starting the elevator pitch with an explanation of what you do, use a shocking statistic relating to a challenge faced by the prospect or their industry.
“Here is an interesting statistic for you. The average small business owner spends between 5 to 7 hours creating employee rosters each week. What if I told you I have a solution that could halve the time it takes to create a roster? Imagine what you could do with the extra time”.
This approach works because:
- The statistic gets their attention quickly
- It jumps straight into the problem/solution
- It’s straightforward (no jargon)
- The prospect thinks about the potential benefits of having more time (thanks to your offer)
Ask a question
Questions are an engaging way to kick off an elevator pitch and can help you learn more about the prospect including any concerns or challenges they have. Try opening with something like:
“Let me ask you something. Do you ever feel frustrated or annoyed about the time it takes to complete complex employee rosters? (They answer). I often hear that from small business owners. That’s why our team developed roster software specifically made for small business owners…”
- The prospect will enter into a conversation (conversational approaches convert better)
- It is a very attention-grabbing opener
- You can learn more about their challenges
- It’s easy to transition from the answer to the benefits of your offer
Boost your cred-inline-blockility
If you are meeting a prospect for the first time, you can expect to have limited cred-inline-blockility and rapport. Fortunately, it’s simple to tailor your elevator pitch to boost both by focussing on yourself and your team with this type of elevator pitch:
“I have spent 20 years of my life working as a business consultant for companies like McDonalds and Subway. During that time, I often heard managers complaining about the time it took to create employee rosters. So, I gathered a team of the industry’s best IT experts to create a new program that streamlines the roster-making experience.”
- The prospect immediately knows you are a capable person and will listen attentively
- You are explaining the reason why your solution is superior (made by experts)
- It quickly identifies the problem/solution
Share a customer story
Stories can be a compelling way to highlight the benefits of a product or service. You could use a case study for your story, which highlights the benefits of your offer:
“McDonalds was one of the largest companies I consulted for. One day, I was talking to the manager of the McDonalds store in Canterbury and he told me that writing employee rosters were one of his most hated tasks. I found this curious, so I asked other store managers. It turned out that everyone hated it!
Working in conjunction with these managers, I developed a new employee roster tool that is designed to be user friendly. I trialed it at four McDonalds branches in 2018 and found that the managers saved an average of 2 hours each week. I’d love to explain how the software works if you have time.”
This approach works because:
- The prospect may identify with the challenges faced by people in the story
- It provides “proof” that your solution works with a compelling before and after
- It is easy to see the value of your offer
- It’s simple to boost your cred-inline-blockility during the story
Keep it simple
If you are pitching to busy people, it’s important to be as concise as possible. Build your elevator pitch around brevity by shortening it to a few lines and enticing the prospect to learn more.
“During my career as a business consultant, virtually every business owner I worked with hated completing employee rosters. That’s why I developed an innovative new tool for completing employee rosters. It helps you create employee rosters in a few minutes. I know your time is short, but I’d love to schedule an appointment so I can tell you more about it.”
- Quick and simple
- The prospect will appreciate the brevity of the pitch
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The Best Elevator Pitch Examples, Templates, and Tactics
The ultimate guide to writing an unforgettable elevator speech.
Author’s Note: I am astounded that this page receives thousands of readers each month . That number tells me that there are a lot of people looking for solid advice on how to craft a simple, compelling, and persuasive pitch. Most of the pitches I have seen have not been very good. It wasn’t because the product or the team were poor, but rather the pitch structure and story weren’t very well thought out. But with just a little planning and strategy, this can be corrected. If you are looking for the best ways to structure, present, and amplify your elevator speech, this article is for you. I wrote this based on my experiences in coaching hundreds of companies to present, with the highlight being to prep four companies to star in a Dragon’s Den pitch (the American equivalent is Shark Tank ).
The first thing, the absolute first thing, that anyone “buys” from you is your big idea embedded in story form. If people don’t “buy” into the big idea and story, they won’t buy anything else. [Read that again.]
Do you believe my statement above? If so, great! Even an article like the one you are about to read on elevator pitches needs an elevator pitch!! Your big idea and story are the beginning of your elevator pitch.
By definition, an elevator pitch is a quick persuasive speech that is used to create interest in a project, a concept, or people. It distills your ideas into the simplest, clearest points of value, what makes you different, and instills enough curiosity to make the prospect want to hear more. Theoretically, it should be no longer than the time it takes to ride an elevator to the top floor in a building. (e.g. between 30 seconds to 2 minutes.)
… luck happens when opportunity meets with preparedness …
As is often the case, most opportunities to meet with influential people happen spontaneously and unpredictably: the rising screenwriter who collides with a Hollywood producer while waiting in line for a taxi, or the hopeful new employee who finds himself in the elevator with the company CEO. The adage luck happens when opportunity meets with preparedness is very true.
There are many different types of pitches, which serve different purposes. While elevator pitches are meant to instill enough intrigue to get the prospect to ask you to tell them more, they do not have the persuasive horsepower of a full-fledged sales or investor pitch. Because these purposes are different, they require different lengths of time and stages of delivery.
Pitching is a skill, and just like all skills, there are ways to perfect it. Once you understand the principles of a pitch structure, your elevator pitch, sales pitch, boardroom presentation, or investor pitch will improve dramatically.
I recently partnered with the NABI business accelerator’s Managing Director, Dar Schwanbeck, to run one of their clients through a crash course for a pitch on the nationally televised show Dragon’s Den (the American equivalent is Shark Tank.) In fact, this was the 4th client that I have worked with to make an investment pitch in the den, and I have compiled the following takeaways on the structure and psychology of enticing the Dragons to invest. (Not pitching an investor anytime soon? Not to worry! These techniques will also help you get what you want from bosses, spouses, customers, and small children.)
Start Creating Your Laser-Sharp Pitch (career or business)
Elevator Pitch Basics
Let’s start with two elevator speech templates, an all-purpose generic template, and a sales pitch template. For these examples, we will use the fictional company Hydrolyzier, a manufacturer of commercial-grade water purification systems.
Generic Elevator Pitch Example
The following is a standard pitch format that can be applied to almost any situation.
My name is <<NAME>>, the CEO of <<COMPANY>>. Our company manufactures <<PRODUCT>> for <<TARGET CUSTOMER>> that allows them to <<YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION>>. Unlike <<OUR COMPETITION>>, we <<PRIMARY COMPETITIVE POINTS OF DIFFERENCE>>. <<CALL to ACTION>>
Using this format, here is a Hydrolyzier elevator pitch example:
Hi, my name is Bob Smith, and I am the CEO of Hydrolyzier Water Company. We manufacture the Hydrolyzier MaxLite, a commercial-grade water purification system that uses a tri-plane osmotic process that dramatically reduces the content of impurities in drinking water. Unlike competing systems, our patented osmotic process uses one-third of the power of a traditional water purifier while reducing the installation space to half. Our modular construction takes less than 36 hours to install, and best of all its price is less than 60% of similar systems. If you go to our YouTube channel, you can watch a video showing the Hydrolyzier in operation in a remote village in Ghana, West Africa
A Sales Pitch Example
If you are pitching in a sales situation, here is a format you could use:
Have you ever <<THE SITUATION THAT THE PROSPECT FACES>>? <<COMPANY NAME>> manufactures <<PRODUCT LINE>> for <<TARGET MARKET>> so that you can <<PRIMARY VALUE PROPOSITION / BENEFIT>>. Unlike <<TRADITIONAL ALTERNATIVES/COMPETITIVE OFFERINGS>>, <<OUR PRODUCT>> is <<COMPETITIVE POINT OF DIFFERENCE>>. <<CALL TO ACTION>>.
Using this format, here is Hydrolyzier’s elevator pitch:
Have you ever had a situation that required a low power, small footprint, water purification system for a remote settlement? Hydrolyzier Water Company manufactures the Hydrolyzier MaxLite, a commercial-grade water purification system that uses a tri-plane osmotic process that dramatically reduces the content of impurities in drinking water. Unlike competing systems, our patented osmotic process uses one-third of the power of a traditional water purifier while reducing the installation space to half. Our modular construction takes less than 36 hours to install, and best of all its price is less than 60% of similar systems. We have successfully installed the system in many remote communities. They have found it to be easy to install, reliable, and inexpensive to operate. Our most recent installation is in a remote village in Ghana, West Africa which we have documented in a 5 minute YouTube video. May I send you the link?
Six More Elevator Pitch Types
Beyond these standard elevator pitches, Daniel Pink, in his book To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others gives us six other types of pitches.
The One-Word Pitch
Can you distill your entire presentation into a single word?
- For Google, it might be “search.”
- For an Alfred Hitchcock horror movie, it might be “scream.”
- The word “inbound” belongs to Hubspot.
- While “invent” is closely associated with Thomas Edison.
For Hydrolyzier it is “purified water.”
Okay, you caught me. That’s two words, … but that’s okay.
(… continued below)
Here’s a portion from the book’s intro: Charismatic leaders seem to possess an effortless ability to influence, captivate, charm, and inspire people to action. Whether it is through grace, passion, or unshakable confidence, charismatic people can rouse the sentiments and energies of the people they touch. While not everyone can master charisma, there is one charismatic tool that any leader can learn — the power of storytelling; specifically, how to communicate a strategic narrative. A strategic narrative is a compelling story that weaves together existential concepts like who you are, your origin, your big idea, what you fight for and why, and offers a bold vision of a future that your people can rally behind. When charismatic leaders wield captivating strategic narratives, their power is unstoppable.
Your elevator pitch is just the beginning. To really put your big idea into play, you must master strategic narratives. This book will show you how. Click here to get your copy.
The Question Pitch
Ask yourself, ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
If your presentation’s central idea is already understood by your audience, a question pitch may be ideal. In the 1980 US presidential election campaign between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, Reagan asked a simple question, “Ask yourself, ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’” Most people immediately understood the question and its context. Reagan became the 40 th President of the United States.
For Hydrolyzier it might be, “How can you supply a rural village in Ghana, West Africa with clean drinking water in under 36 hours, and at less than 60% of the cost of other water purification systems?”
The Rhyming Pitch
It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
Rhymes are easy to mentally process and remember. Also, some scientific studies have found that rhymes are perceived to be more accurate and believable than non-rhymes when pitching the same concept.
- Teeth whitening toothpaste Pepsodent used the following rhyme in its 1960’s and 70’s commercials, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!”
- To emphasize its timepieces’ durability, watch manufacturer Timex said, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”
For Hydrolyzier it might be,
- “Get wet.” or
- A Pure, Clean, Water Stream
(This was hard. How did I do?)
The Subject Line Pitch
Every email subject line that you write is a pitch inviting the recipient to open it. Daniel Pink advises that your subject line pitch should offer utility value, curiosity, and specificity. However, he cautions that while specificity should be in all subject lines, you should choose to use either utility value or curiosity for any single subject line
Here are some examples:
- Drugstore: “Your prescription is expiring.”
- Mortgage Broker: “How Much House Can You Afford?”
- Credit Card Company: “You’re missing out on reward points.”
For Hydrolyzier it might be, “How Remote Communities Can Install On-Site Purified Drinking Water Systems in Under 36 hours.”
The Twitter Pitch
Can you get your pitch down to 140 characters? Or less? Here are a couple of funny ones for Twitter itself:
- “Twitter. The only place you get excited when a stranger follows you.” or
- “Twitter. Get the news before it happens.”
For Hydrolyzier it might be, “Clean Drinking Water for 300 African Villagers in Under 36 hours.”
The Pixar Pitch
Animation studio Pixar has produced a string of hits, including Wal-E, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Incredibles, and many, many others. The standard plot structure for each of these stories fall into the following format:
Once upon a time <<INTRODUCE CHARACTER AND CONTEXT>> Every day, <<ESTABLISH THE WAY THINGS WERE>>. One day <<INTRODUCE PROBLEM/INCITING INCIDENT>>. Because of that <<CHALLENGE>>. Because of that <<SEARCH FOR SOLUTION>> Until finally <<FINDS SOLUTION>> Now, <<ESTABLISH THE WAY THINGS ARE BETTER NOW>>
For Hydrolyzier it might be:
In Africa, village water wells are vital to the sustainability of the rural population. In one community, we counted over 300 people who relied on a single well as their only source of daily drinking water, often walking from miles around to obtain it. Last year, the well was found to be contaminated by waterborne parasites. Hydrolyzier was one of three companies contacted by the regional government to remedy the situation. We were selected to install our new water purification system, the Hydrolyzier MaxLite, primarily due to the speed which we could deploy it (in less than 36 hours), and its cost (less than 60% of its competitors). Today, the people of this village can safely drink from their well again.
Amplifiers for Your Pitch
If you are in a full-fledged pitch like those on Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank, these pitch amplifiers will come in very handy. Beyond profiling a great product or service, your pitch should also contain the following:
Shock, Fascination, or Intrigue – The Dragons’ minds are wandering during your entrance. Their brains are actively searching for WHY they should care. Give them a simple statement that startles them into rapt attention. Here’s an example if you are pitching a water purifying device. In the introduction, you can either say:
- “Our device is called the Hydrolyzier, and it uses a tri-plane osmotic process that dramatically reduces the content of impurities in drinking water.”
- “Water is life, yet 768 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation. When water is unsafe and sanitation non-existent, water can kill.” (Unicef Clean Water Campaign)
The 2nd statement allows a fluid transition into a description of your product WITH the Dragons’ full attention.
… a “space western”.
Metaphor – Because people absorb new information by relating it to an existing reference point they understand, you should create a metaphor that allows them to associate, compare, and draw relations easily. When Gene Roddenberry was pitching the original Star Trek series to NBC in 1964, the concept of a racially mixed crew with women and aliens on the bridge travelling to distant planets was so foreign that it was initially dismissed because NBC brass didn’t think anyone would watch. To sell the idea, Roddenberry used the metaphor of a “space western.” Because western movies and TV shows were something everyone was familiar with, this bought him the time and funding to develop not just one, but two pilots for the popular series.
Hydrolyzier’s primary differentiating value propositions are its low cost, small size, and rapid deployment capability. We could use the following metaphor to convey these central ideas:
“Hydrolyzier: We are the IKEA of Commercial Water Plants.”
Clarity – As a minimum, the elevator pitch has to have clarity on the attributes of:
- The primary problem the product solves
- The way it solves it
- Alternatives to the product, but emphasizing how you are better
- How big the market is
- The cost of the solution
- The price you can charge
- How much investment capital you need and for what purpose
- What the Dragons will receive for their money
Emotional Appeal – To get people moving fast and with purpose, you must infuse your pitch with emotion. Confidence, fear, anger, amazement, joy, indignation, love, disgust, envy, or dozens of other emotions can energize your pitch. Choose the ones most relevant to the story you are telling.
Tangible Demonstration – Nothing shows people what your product can do better than a physical demonstration. Imagination and understanding are stoked further when something is taken in hand. Get the audience involved in a demo.
Risk Reduction – Every new investment involves risk. Show the Dragons you understand what the risks are, and how you will quell them. By the way, nothing makes investment risk in a startup go away faster than showing you have sales. Show the Dragons your sales pipeline to get a deal done fast.
Authority – Authority commands attention, respect, and intrigue. Show the Dragons you are an authority on the market, its pain, your solution, and the competitive alternatives. Authority can come in many forms but always includes the primary elements of knowledge, experience, credentials, and public recognition. Demonstrate all four in the pitch.
Scarcity – If it’s valuable, it’s probably scarce. Show the Dragons that the opportunity to invest is (truthfully) fleeting. Some common reasons why include:
- Sales are coming in so fast you will soon be able to self-fund out of cash-flow
- Because sales are increasing, the valuation they can invest at will continue to rise the longer they wait
- You have another strategic partner that has indicated they want to invest in you
Repetition – Repetition drives the message deeper. What is the central unifying message of your elevator speech? Repeat it three times in the presentation. For the UNICEF Clean Water Campaign, it might be “Water is life.”
Contrast – Something is “hot” only in relation to something that is “cold.” The Dragons’ brains are actively looking for a contrast to help them analyze and categorize the data for a decision. In the Hydrolyzier example, the easiest way to employ contrast is to show a before and after comparison of the water. Dirty, polluted water before filtration, clean, clear water after.
Story – Now, wrap it all up in a story. Humans have been gathering in groups to tell stories for millennia. Stories have the ability to draw and keep attention, fascinate, intrigue, and engage all our mental and emotional energies. Great brands are about great stories. Create a powerful narrative to tell.
Time – Finally, keep the pitch short, just long enough to get all of the above out, but no longer.
By using these structures, and embedding these psychological persuasion tactics in your pitch, you will have a dramatically improved chance of making a memorable impact!
About Kurian Tharakan
Kurian Mathew Tharakan is the founder of sales and marketing strategy firm StrategyPeak Sales & Marketing Advisors, a 27 year veteran of the sales and marketing industry, and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Seven Essential Stories Charismatic Leaders Tell. He has consulted for companies in numerous sectors, including Retail, Professional Services, Manufacturing, Distribution, High Technology, Software, Non-Profit, and Life Sciences. In addition to his consulting practice, he has also been an Executive in Residence at the business accelerators TEC Edmonton and NABI where he has assisted clients with their go-to-market strategy. Prior to StrategyPeak, Mr. Tharakan was a vice president of sales & marketing for an Alberta-based software firm where his team achieved notable wins with several members of the US Fortune 500.
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Elevator Pitch Template: How to Easily Create a Killer Pitch
In this article, you will learn what an elevator pitch is and why it is so important., you will then learn how to create a great elevator pitch for your business, using the comparative formula or elevator pitch template provided below., what is an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a brief summary of your business. It is designed to quickly convey the key elements of your business to investors and get them interested.
As the name “elevator pitch” implies, it’s derived from the amount of time you would have to speak to an investor if you were riding an elevator with them. Accordingly, the goal of your elevator pitch is to convey your message and get the investor interested in 60 seconds or less.
Why Elevator Pitches Are Important
Most investors are constantly pitched with new ideas. As a result, if you can’t convey your story and gain their interest in 60 seconds, they’ll move on to the next opportunity. There are just so many hours in the day, and investors are too busy to invest time thoroughly reviewing all companies they come across. So, if you can’t convey your business quickly and effectively, you won’t receive funding.
Similarly, venture capitalists generally work in teams. So, if one member of the venture capital firm is interested in funding your company, they need to present it to the others. In doing so, they need an effective elevator pitch. If they don’t have it, they’ll fail to convince the others to fund you.
A Great Elevator Pitch Formula: Comparing Yourself to Another Successful Venture
One way to concisely explain your business to others is to compare it to another successful business they know and to show how you’re different.
One company who did this well was Bookswim. Bookswim’s elevator pitch was this: “We are Netflix for books.”
From just these five words, investors knew Bookswim was an online book rental company just like Netflix is an online movie rental company.
The Simple Elevator Pitch Template
If you’re able to compare and differentiate yourself from a successful company, that is a recipe for elevator pitch success.
If that formula doesn’t work for you, or if you’re seeking a more comprehensive elevator pitch, use the elevator pitch template for your business below:
A. Start by answering the following questions:
- What does your company do (start with phrases such as we help, we provide, we manufacture, we offer, etc.)?
- Who does your company serve (who are your customers? teenagers? entrepreneurs, new parents, etc.)?
- What key benefits do you offer your customers? (e.g., higher quality/more success, lower cost, more reliable, etc.)?Why is your company better than competitors? (e.g., even faster, less expensive, etc.)? What information gives your firm more credibility (e.g., track record)?
- Is there a clear and clean business sector that your company fits into (e.g., restaurant, CPA firm, etc.)?
B. Combine the key information from Questions 1-5 into a 35 word or less statement that describes your business.
Say it aloud to make sure it sounds good and makes sense. Tell it to friends to make sure they “get” it. Tell it to employees to confirm that they can repeat it back to you.
Here’s an example: Rick’s Bridal sells high-end wedding gowns and accessories to brides in New York City. For twenty years, Rick’s has served over 25,000 satisfied brides through our six locations.
Practice Makes Perfect
Importantly, you should write down/type up your elevator pitch and practice delivering it.
The more you practice, the more easily you will concisely recite it within 60 seconds and the more natural it will sound.
Finally, try delivering your elevator pitch to friends, family, and warm contacts first to get their feedback before giving your first pitch to real investors or lenders.
Elevator Pitch Template Infographic
Below is an infographic of this article for quick reference.
To further help you develop your elevator pitch, we put together the slide presentation below to show you “How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch.”
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