Creating a Successful Elevator Pitch

October 24th, 2011

Lauren Shapiro*

iStock_000013177296XSmall“So… what does your company do?”

How many times have you been asked this question? What is your response? Whatever it is that is your elevator pitch… the 15 second – schpeel (or the amount of time it would take you to ride an elevator) you give to someone who has no idea what you or your company does. It is a simplified, condensed version given in layman’s terms to explain the complexity of your inner working knowledge of the industry and your organization. The goal of the elevator pitch is to leave the listener with not only an understanding of your company/service but with some excitement and curiosity.

According to an article on by Robert Pagliarini, “An elevator pitch isn’t about cramming as much information into a minute as possible. A well crafted elevator pitch is much more about finesse. It should evoke emotion more than thought.” 

 Elevator pitches are used more often than you may think! They are used at the initial stages of selling (whether you realize it or not), during networking events or just in passing. But what are the key components of an elevator pitch? According to Pagliarini, an elevator pitch must contain the following elements:

  1. A “hook.” Grab the listener’s attention with either a question or statement that gets them interested and wanting to know more about your clients, products, or services.
  2. About 150-225 words. Keep your pitch short. Remember, this is an elevator ride not a plane ride.
  3. Passion. If you talk with gusto and excitement… they will also be excited!
  4. A request. When finished with your pitch, be sure to exchange business cards and request a time to discuss in more detail.

The key to an elevator pitch is to be confident. This is your job, your company and your industry… you know what you are talking about! 

Do you have any tips to share about elevator pitches?


*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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