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The 30-Second Elevator Pitch: Ideas for How to Create Your Own

By Erin Ryan Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Erin Ryan
By Erin Ryan Reviewed By Mike Lucas

If you had to describe your company, what it does, why it exists and how it can help others in the time it takes to get from the ground floor to the 4th floor, could you do it? 

Essentially, that’s a very simple example of an elevator pitch that could get your business to the next level of any interaction. But how can you create one of your own?

We’ll show you what a quick elevator pitch looks like, layout how to write an elevator pitch and give you 6 elevator pitch examples (plus templates) you can start mirroring today. 

Messaging bubbles in an elevator

What Is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch, or an elevator speech, is a roughly half-minute description of who and what you or your business does and why you do it. 

The name stems from the little time you may have on an elevator ride with an important individual or group you’ve been hoping to speak with. As such, elevator speeches are simple, complete and to the point. 

Think of your elevator pitch as the Twitter of sales. Within your allotted character count, you need to craft a message that will get someone to pay attention and hopefully react. 

In about 30 seconds or less, your goal is to keep the conversation going by intriguing your audience enough so that they’re inclined to ask questions or express interest in hearing more.

Keep in mind, if you haven’t piqued their interest at the start, even 30 seconds could be too long. 

Allan Dib, founder of Successwise and author of “The 1-Page Marketing Plan,” offers this formula for creating a successful elevator pitch:

“You know [problem]? Well, what we do is [solution]. In fact [proof].”

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

The best salespeople will tell you your 30-second elevator pitch needs to include several key points.

Keep in mind, with the exception of the close, these components don’t necessarily have to follow the order outlined below. For instance, you might open with a question that piques interest or an interesting fact.

Practice several ways to deliver your pitch and see what works best for you.

Here’s what the best elevator speeches accomplish:

Explain Who You Are

This is typically done within the first few seconds of an elevator speech:

  • Introduce yourself
  • State your company’s name and its mission

You may also share the source of your passion and why you’re doing the work you do. This should take no more than 5-8 seconds.

Show Your Value Proposition

In 1-2 sentences, dive further into your business and explain what sets your product or service apart. Note the problem or challenge, empathize and share how you can offer a resolution. 

You may talk about obstacles you’ve overcome, goals you’ve exceeded and enhancements you made to customer’s lives. Present solutions in a simple, “done for you” manner

The more to-the-point you are here, the easier it will be for your audience to fully understand what you’re after in a relationship.

Contain ‘Aha!’ Details

Once you’ve shared your company’s mission and value proposition, now is the time to piece together the essential details that will grab your listener’s attention and hammer home the work you’re doing (or plan to do). 

Focus on how your brand will impact the specific market and quantify the savings or revenue your product can offer.

Solidify your elevator speech by including a powerful statistic about your product or the problem you’re solving or an engaging anecdote about your company founder or the inspiration for the product and its origin story. The goal is to make it memorable.

Leave Them Wanting More

With the majority of your sales pitch laid out, it’s time to get your audience to take action. Whether you’re looking to set up a follow-up call, a more formal meeting, have your prospect attend an event or sell your product on the spot, it starts with putting your best foot forward. So, make the ask and listen out for, “I’m interested” or “Tell me more.”

  • Elevator Pitch Templates

    If you want some help in creating an elevator pitch structure, here are a few templates you can use to get you started.

    Find one on Slideshare and another on Wall-Skills.com. If you prefer a slideshow template, find one at SketchBubble

Elevator floor meter

6 Most Creative Elevator Pitch Examples

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to pitch your business to a new investor, a group of customers or an influential association. However, the best elevator pitch examples are the simplest ones. 

Here are 6 elevator pitches you can get some inspiration from, including a few from industry professionals.

1. Short and Sweet

Tony Morris, international speaker and author of 5 sales books, offers this example:

“Hi, John. Thanks for taking my call. It’s Tony Morris from TMI Training. Are you familiar with the success we’ve had with estate agents?”

If yes or no:

“We’ve successfully helped over 134 estate agents double their stock, without spending an extra penny on marketing. To see if we can help you, how are you proactively growing your stock?”

Why does this elevator pitch example work?

  • Is simple, complete and to the point
  • Shows proof of success
  • Poses an open-ended question at the close to elicit more than a “yes” or “no” response

2. Attention-Grabbing

Editor-in-chief of ResumeLab, Bart Turczynski, shares this elevator pitch for job seekers:

“Ninety thousand hours. That’s the amount of time we spend working during our lives on average. Sadly, most people do not feel like they are working at their dream jobs. Even more unfortunate, data shows that only about 20% of Americans feel enthusiastic about their jobs. Your resume is the key to getting a job that will make you wake up with a smile. An updated professional, one-page resume that makes you stand out from the rest and screams, ‘I’m the best!’– without using [caps lock]. You deserve a job that is not a waste of thousands of hours of your life.”

Why does this elevator pitch example work?

  • Opens with an intriguing line
  • Cuts to the point
  • Empathizes with challenges
  • Shares a compelling statistic

3. Reality Check

On average, kitchen managers across the country spend half an hour assessing the needs of their restaurant every day. Not only are these 30 minutes unproductive for your leaders, but they can also disrupt your staff, potentially costing you thousands of dollars each year. BistroOP tracks everything that your team uses in real time and connects directly to your point-of-sale systems, allowing you to verify what’s been used. By tracking every dollar, delivery and dish, your kitchen manager can focus on running their kitchen and getting the staff ready for service.”

Why does this elevator pitch example work?

4. Customer Success Story

Luxury boutique owner Gloria Kidd used to spend up to 45 minutes evaluating the needs of her staff each morning. Now that she uses RetailRX, these reviews happen in seconds and can be done right from her phone. Gloria’s team can make requests for additional inventory directly from the RetailRX app, making purchase orders much more efficient for the entire team.”

Why does this elevator pitch example work?

  • Is relatable
  • Gives credibility to the product with a customer example
  • Conveys value with simple before and after stories 

5. Credibility Boost

In my position at SousOP, I have the chance to speak with hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs and managers every month. The one thing they all have in common? They hate taking inventory. It’s time-intensive, tedious, involves multiple team members and it’s usually not your highest priority. That’s where SousOP comes in — it aggregates all of your data points to create a rundown of your team’s efficiency and suggested purchase orders in a matter of seconds.

Why does this elevator pitch example work?

  • Comes from someone who understands the challenges of the customer
  • Solution presented in a simple, “done for you” manner

6. Savings Highlight

James Surrey, founder of Review Home Warranties, offers this elevator pitch example:

“I’m the CEO of Review Home Warranties. My company helps homeowners make the best warranty decisions on their current financial situation. Since COVID, are you spending more time at home and noticing home issues like a leaky ceiling or worn attic insulation?”

“My warranty reviews provide a layman-friendly guide minus the industry jargon. The aim is to strip the formal language and lingo to make the information easy for everyday readers to digest. My guides have helped homeowners across the nation save up to 75% on cost-prohibitive home and appliance repairs – all at an affordable annual premium. Visit my site; you can reap the same money-saving benefits in just a few short minutes.”

Why does this elevator pitch example work?

  • Starts with a brief introduction
  • Highlights pain points
  • Closes with a call to action

Tips for Making the Most of Your Elevator Speech

Do Your Homework

Before you give an elevator speech, be sure you’ve researched the company you’re prospecting, and tailor your pitch to your specific audience. Put in the work so your efforts pay off.

Be Aware of Your Body Language

If your elevator speech is an in-person one, body language is key. Smile and make eye contact. These physical variables are important, as they convey just as much to your audience as your words do. Also, keep an eye on your listener’s body language.

Check Your Speech

While your elevator speech should be short and sweet, you don’t want to rush through it. Be cool, calm and collected. Find the sweet spot between brevity, clarity and engagement. 

Avoid the Cringe Factor

Your goal is to sell, but you don’t want to oversell. Pushy and sales-ly doesn’t get far in 2021. It’s important to strike the right balance. Believe in what you’re selling and be authentic. 

Ohad Golan, CEO of music education platform Tonara, says: “When you truly believe in a company, its mission, product and team, it’s easy to talk about them because the feeling comes from your gut. And when it’s from your gut, you know it’s not a lie but an honest belief.”

Perfect With Practice 

Before you give your elevator speech, take the time to read it to yourself. Ensure you’ve got the right tone for the listener you’ll be targeting and your pitch is conversational too. Consider practicing in front of a mirror or to a friend or associate. You may also want to record yourself and watch it back, noting areas where you could improve.

Provide Contact Details

Maybe they won’t sign on the dotted line today, but you want to make sure your prospects can contact you if and when they’re ready. On the other hand, they may have follow-up questions and a second conversation could be just what’s needed to close the deal. So be sure to leave your business card.

Continually Fine-Tune

Regardless of whether your pitch is days or decades old, continually revising it helps you identify weak spots, areas of strength and other sections where a simple tweak may position you for greater success.

Final Thoughts on Perfecting Your Elevator Speech

The best way to deliver your elevator pitch is to get to the heart of the issue quickly and drive your prospects to take action. 

By understanding the needs, interests and motivations of your target audience you’ll be much more successful with any interaction.

Use our elevator speech examples to put together a convincing pitch, whether you’re putting one together for the first time or improving an existing one.

Erin Ryan Staff Writer and Editor at Fast Capital 360
Erin has more than 15 years’ experience writing, proofreading and editing web content, technical documentation, instructional materials, marketing copy, editorials and creative content. In her role at Fast Capital 360, Erin covers topics of interest to small business owners, including sales, marketing, business management and financing.
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