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A good elevator pitch will make you more effective

01 Jun, 2020 Careers, Interpersonal communication, Persuasion, influence, motivation

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.

An elevator pitch is the brief summary or pitch relating to your organization, your product or yourself that can be made in about 30 seconds, ie the time it takes to ride in the typical elevator and tell someone your story. Elevator pitches are valuable to senior executives to use in business and sales presentations, speeches and interviews. They are also valuable for interesting someone important to you.

For many people, without even realizing it, a good elevator pitch is more important to their career than a business plan or document.

Aim at about 60 words maximum. People generally talk at about 120 words per minute, and therefore the ideal elevator pitch will last around half a minute.

You can also use this technique in an email. Keep it to a maximum of about 100 words. Many people don’t get to the point quickly in an email. Practice your media pitches in this way. You are likely to score more successes as a result.

As time is so scarce for senior executives, being able to make a brief statement of your key points to them can make you a winner, especially if you meet them accidentally and can articulate your pitch.

Important to rehearse your elevator statement

Therefore you need to rehearse your elevator statement. Try it on your dog or cat, and if they like it, try it on your partner. Listen to their feedback – at least your partner’s! That should help you to find apt words in concise form.

Elevator pitches are great for networking events. When you first speak to someone you can briefly summarize your key points smoothly and effectively.

And the pitch works really in social media when you are introducing yourself. So many people waffle in social media. You can come straight to the key points.

Good elevator pitch formula

For (target audience or customer)
What (what they need or want)
Your company/product/service provides (key benefit, compelling reason to believe/invest/buy)

Sample email pitch to online consumer website

For an emailed media pitch you might say:

Subject: Possible interview on …
In the past six months, [name of organization] has helped our customers to [mention the product or service you want to push].
Customers say it is the best [product or service] they have ever used. Some customers get [these results] out of it.
I thought it might be of interest to you for a story as it fits in with the angles you have been covering this week.
Our CEO and a major customer are available for an interview.
I will call you tomorrow to check if you would like to follow this up.
If you want to call in the meantime, my number is …..
Regards
Bill Smith

General pitching formula

You can easily adapt this general formula for other situations:

“Hi. I’m [insert your name]. I work in [insert your department] and I [insert a couple things you do that add value to the company].”

You might then follow this up with a recent accomplishment.

Another angle:

“Hi. I’m [insert your name]. I manage marketing promotions for [department]. Recently, I began a new email marketing campaign that has increased the number of visitors by 30% and sales conversions by 25%.”

If it is a sales situation you can give a call to action:

“…This [product] could help you to achieve good results. Would you like me to call you to talk about it some further?”

Good luck!

Article updated in 2020.

About the author Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in the eBooks available from cuttingedgepr.com.

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