Elevator Pitch
Brief verbal or written summary of proposition


  • A metaphor for a brief, engaging description of your product or service
  • Literally what you would say if you ran into the President in an elevator
  • Or at a conference when networking


Here’s an example elevator pitch. Please critique it:

“Let’s face it. Parking can be a real nightmare. It can be infuriating to find, extremely pricey and by the time you find that spot you would have lost time, petrol, and caused a lot of unnecessary traffic and pollution. Well, there’s an answer, parkatmyhouse.com. We are an awesome little company, backed by an awesome big company called BMW. Now, listen in: You can reserve parking in a private property and save up to 70%. Need to park at a sports match or local station? Sorted. … Just go to parkatmyhouse.com and simply type in where you want to park and what dates. It is that simple.”

Tips for elevator pitches

  • You should have it at the tip of your toungue so when you run into the president you can answer the question: “So, what’s your business do?” in a clear, interesting, catchy, provocative manner.
  • Purpose of an elevator pitch is to sell you and your idea
  • To get the listener to say, “hmm, let’s sit down so you can tell me more.”
  • An elevator pitch is meant to be spoken or read to a potential investor or board member
  • Put yourself in the listeners shoes, really! Imagine that they say, “So What?” in response to each of your lines
  • If there’s a very obvious objection, respond to it right away.
  • Hook them with the first words out of your mouth.

What to say

  • Brief: About 30 seconds
  • Persuasive: Get listener to say “tell me more!”
  • Practice: So you’re always ready
  • Audience: Responsive to your audience: is it a colleague, a possible job opportunity, are you trying to recruit someone?
  • Listener context: Dont make assumptions about the listened
  • Jargon: Avoid it
  • Proof points: If you have them

Good examples

  • “I work on nanotechnology to deliver medical therapies to targeted cells”
  • “We are using the manufacturing techniques of the computer industry to make better vaccines”

Bad Examples

  • “Our company’s core competency is building synergy between top consumer brands and their customers. We help these companies to upsell and cross-sell their products while delighting their customers with new products.”