What is an Elevator Pitch? Useful Ideas and Links

by Chillibreeze on September 20, 2013

Example of Elevator Pitch

Elevator Pitch Template

Let us start with a fundamental question. What is an elevator pitch? This 2 minute video here is the best way to explain:

An Elevator pitch is generally defined as ‘a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition. The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes’ or as explained in the video above, the time it takes for an elevator to go from the ground floor to the top floor – where the VC sits. According to Aileen Pincus in Business Week, Elevator Pitch is “one of the most effective methods available to reach new buyers and clients with a winning message.”

In fact Harvard Business School has even built an online tool called the HBR Elevator Pitch Builder where they help you prepare a Pitch and even analyse it for you. All you have to do is select the words you want to say that best describes your proposition – How, What, Where Why, and in a click the tool analyses your pitch for you. Although it takes some time getting used to how it works, and it’s only a computer generated tool, it’s a good place to start, especially if you are a beginner. This is an article on how you can use it.

HBR Elevator Pitch Builder to build effective pitches

We suggest you also read Microsoft’s advice on Elevator pitch: 5 tips for creating a strong sales message. The author advices here that you must ‘Keep it simple – A good elevator pitch doesn’t try and be all things to all people’ So don’t try to cram in every bit of data and information into 30 seconds. Explain only what the key diffrentiator is.

There’s a new trend among entrepreneurs and start-up owners to have the PowerPoint accompanying the elevator pitch contain a total of only 5 slides. In the article ‘The new elevator pitch: Now in five slides or less’ by Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall in CS Monitor the author gives an outline to what the five slides should ideally contain for an elevator pitch. And we agree, you shouldn’t go beyond 5 slides; after all you have only a total of two minutes!

Want to read up more on what an Elevator Pitch is? We have compiled the following list just for you:

ReadWriteWeb’s The Art of the Elevator Pitch: 10 Great Tips
Inc Magazine’s How to Write a Better Elevator Pitch
Fast Company’s The Problem With Elevator Pitches
Wired magazine’s Scott Brown on the Art of the Elevator Pitch

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