Have you ever found yourself in conversation with someone important, only to realize you have no idea what to say to them? It can happen anywhere: over lunch, in an elevator, or at the bus stop. Perhaps you’ve been given the opportunity to pitch your business idea to potential investors, but you stumble over your words and fail to make a lasting impression.
If any of these situations sound familiar, it may be time to master your elevator pitch.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about elevator pitches, including:
- What an elevator pitch is
- How long your elevator pitch should be
- How to tailor your pitch to your audience’s needs and interests
- Five practical tips for improving your elevator pitch
What’s an Elevator Pitch?
Generally speaking, an elevator pitch is a concise summary of you: your experience, your background, and your aspirations. It’s a brief, persuasive speech that introduces yourself, your product, service, or idea, and its value proposition.
It’s called an elevator pitch because it’s meant to be short enough to deliver during a brief elevator ride, but powerful enough to leave a lasting impression. An elevator can take as little as one second to move from one floor to the next — it’s essential that your pitch is short and to the point.
It’s the perfect answer to the prompt, “Tell me about yourself.” You can learn more about elevator pitches and how to best respond when someone asks you about yourself through Yoodli’s crash course below.
Why Are Elevator Pitches Important?
Elevator pitches are extremely useful, whether you’re actively job searching, trying to get your name out there, or promoting your business or start-up.
Because much of the workforce has shifted to taking advantage of virtual options — such as online meetings or interviews — you’ll also be able to use this technique virtually, not just in in-person situations.
This isn’t a time to ramble, however. Make sure you’re speaking clearly and at an appropriate pace. Even though elevator pitches are short in length, you shouldn’t speak faster just to get in more information. After all, the goal isn’t to chat their ear off. You want to be engaging, confident, and effective. Plus, you’ll want to give them a moment to process and respond.
Whether you’re trying to impress potential clients, investors, or employers, a well-crafted introduction is essential to making a memorable first impression.
Elevator Pitch Examples
Here are a few elevator pitch examples to get you started:
- Hi! My name is Anila. Because I have decades’ worth of experience as a staff engineer, and I just passed my professional engineering exam, I’m looking to start my own engineering firm. If you know any young engineers looking for a new position, feel free to send them my way!
- Last year, I earned my master’s degree in information security. I spent time as an intern for a small cybersecurity company, and I’m currently looking for a position where I can capitalize on my knowledge and skills in cybersecurity and information security analysis.
- I’m the founder of a new therapy start-up, Lumitherapy. We offer counseling and therapeutic services, both in-person and online. Feel free to reach out for a consultation or for more information.
- I’m a journalist with a master’s in health journalism and a specialty in queer health. I’ve dedicated my life thus far to educating people about LGBTQ health, and I’d love to lend my expertise to your company.
- It’s nice to meet you! I’m Inyene, and I’m a local chiropractic specialist. I’m also a member of the American Chiropractic Association and have years of experience in providing spinal manipulations. If you or anyone you know are having pain in your joints or muscles, I hope you’ll send them my way!
These examples are just that — examples. Feel free to use these as inspiration or even as a basis for your own elevator pitch.
Keep in mind that elevator pitches are most effective if you’re comfortable with impromptu speaking. To improve your communication skills, sign up at http://www.yoodli.ai and get AI powered feedback on your body language, eye contact, filler words, pacing, and much else. You can also access Yoodli’s many courses on elevator pitches — all free of cost.
Elevator Pitch Templates
If you’re still looking for a bit more direction, try using one of these three elevator pitch templates.
- It’s great to meet you! My name is [your name], and I’m a [your current job] with [number of years of experience] years of experience. I’d love to help you with [a problem to which you have a solution] if you ever need another pair of hands.
- Hi, I’m [your name]. After graduating from [your university] [year you graduated], I decided to dedicate my life to [your aspiration]. If you know anyone looking for [services you offer], please send them my way.
- My name is [your name], and I spend my time doing [your area of work] for [your target audience]. Due to my extensive experience in [your specialty], I think I’d be the perfect person to join your team.
Once you have your elevator pitch created, it’s time to master it. Here are five super easy tips to master your elevator pitch.
5 Tips to Improve Your Elevator Pitch
Crafting a compelling pitch is a skill that takes practice, but with these five strategies, you’ll be well on your way to mastering it.
1. Know your audience.
Your elevator pitch should be tailored to the person or group you’re speaking to. Take the time to research their needs and interests, and adjust your pitch accordingly. For example, if you’re pitching to a potential investor, focus on the financial benefits of your idea. If you’re pitching to a potential customer, highlight how your product or service solves a problem they’re facing.
2. Keep it concise.
Remember, an elevator pitch should be short and sweet. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, and use simple, jargon-free language. Practice your pitch until you’ve mastered how to deliver it smoothly and confidently without stumbling over your words.
3. Tell a story.
Humans are wired to respond to stories, so try to incorporate one into your elevator pitch. Start with a hook that captures your audience’s attention, then explain the problem you’re solving and how your solution is different from others on the market. Finally, wrap up with a call to action, such as a request for a follow-up meeting or more information.
4. Use emotion.
People are more likely to remember your pitch if it evokes an emotional response. Consider how your idea can help people on a personal level, and use that to connect with your audience. For example, if you’re pitching a fitness app, you could talk about how it helped you overcome your own health challenges.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
Finally, the key to mastering your elevator pitch is practice. Rehearse it until you can deliver it smoothly and confidently in a variety of settings. Ask for feedback from friends and colleagues, and make adjustments as needed. The more you practice, the better your pitch will become. A great way to practice yours is through Yoodli.
Yoodli is an AI-powered virtual speech coach that can be an invaluable tool in helping you practice and perfect your elevator pitch. With Yoodli, you can receive personalized feedback and guidance on your pitch, allowing you to refine your delivery and make the best impression possible.
Yoodli’s advanced algorithms analyze your speech patterns, intonation, and pacing, providing valuable insights into areas for improvement. It can identify common mistakes, such as using filler words or speaking too quickly, and offer suggestions on how to address them.
You can even try out Yoodli’s interactive practice sessions where you can simulate real-life pitching scenarios and receive instant feedback. By leveraging Yoodli’s technology, you can gain confidence, polish your delivery, and ensure that your elevator pitch leaves a lasting impact on your audience.
By following these five strategies, you’ll be able to craft an elevator pitch that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
Common Elevator Pitch Mistakes
Crafting a winning elevator pitch can be challenging, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can undermine your efforts. Here are some common elevator pitch mistakes to avoid when delivering yours:
- It’s too vague. It’s important to be clear and specific in your elevator pitch. Avoid using vague language or buzzwords that don’t clearly explain what you do or what you offer.
- You’re rambling. Your pitch should be concise and to the point. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents, which can make your pitch confusing and ineffective. By making your pitch as succinct as possible, you can say more with less.
- You don’t know your audience. It’s essential to tailor your pitch to your audience. If you’re pitching to a potential investor, for example, it makes more sense to focus on the financial benefits of your product or service rather than highlighting how your product or service can solve their individual problem.
- You’re overwhelming them with information. Keep in mind that an elevator pitch is meant to be short and sweet. Don’t overwhelm your listener with too much information, as this can lead to confusion and disinterest.
- You’re forgetting to include a call-to-action. Your elevator pitch should end with a clear call-to-action. Whether it’s asking for a follow-up meeting or inviting your listener to visit your website, make sure your call-to-action is specific and doable.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve the effectiveness of your elevator pitch and increase your chances of success. Remember, your elevator pitch is your chance to make a great first impression, so take the time to craft it carefully and practice it until you’ve mastered the delivery.
Elevator Pitch FAQ
Q: What should I do if I don’t have any experience or achievements to highlight in my elevator pitch?
A: Focus on your potential and passion. If you’re just starting out in your career or don’t have much experience, highlight your eagerness to learn and grow in your field. Discuss any relevant skills or education you have that make you a strong candidate for your desired role. Remember, an elevator pitch is about selling yourself and your potential, not just your past accomplishments.
Q: How long should my elevator pitch be?
A: Ideally, your elevator pitch should be no more than 30 seconds long. This is the perfect amount of time to convey your message and make a strong impression without losing your listener’s attention. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the length of your pitch may vary depending on the situation and the person you’re speaking to. Practice tailoring your pitch to fit different scenarios and audiences.
Q: Should I memorize my elevator pitch?
A: While it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to say in your pitch, it’s generally not a good idea to memorize it word for word. This can come across as robotic and insincere. Instead, memorize the key points and general flow of your elevator pitch. This will allow you to be more flexible and responsive in conversations. Check out this article for practical advice on how to memorize any speech or pitch.
Q: What if I’m nervous about giving my elevator pitch?
A: Nerves are natural when it comes to public speaking, but there are a few things you can do to manage them. First, practice your pitch ahead of time so you’re more comfortable with the content. Second, take deep breaths and try to relax your body before speaking. Finally, remember that the person you’re speaking to is likely interested in what you have to say, and that you have something valuable to offer. Keep a positive attitude and believe in yourself.