Why You Need to Learn How to Elevator Pitch

by | Mar 1, 2019 | Business, Career


Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes


If you don’t learn how to pitch, you might never be heard.

If you don't learn how to pitch, you might never be heard Click To Tweet

Your talents, ideas, and solutions that have the potential to change many people’s lives might never be known to the world.

Introduction to pitching

People who can present well are perceived to be more knowledgeable, more confident, more prosperous and are generally listened to more attentively than people who can’t communicate direct and concise.

Knowing how to pitch has a huge impact on people’s careers, their salaries, their responsibilities, their business success and most of all their self-worth and self-confidence.

It doesn’t matter what it is you’re selling; perhaps it’s a concept for a brand-new company, an existing service or merchandise, or a project. If you wish to attain success, you have to take this problem seriously; you ought to ascertain how to convey your message in a manner that will capture the interest of someone that has plenty of other items in their mind. Whether be it during a quick meeting or a presentation.


Origin of the elevator pitch

There are many proposed origin stories of the elevator pitch, and we don’t really know who, or what, or when truly originated the elevator pitch. What the origin stories have in common, however, is the fact that there was a tiny window of opportunity and somebody had an idea or a concept that they wanted somebody to understand and buy-in as well as support. They made sure that they cramped the entire idea into a quick, short and understandable package.


Why you need your own elevator pitch

You need an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a synopsis of an idea, product, service, project, individual, or option to a problem and was developed to get a dialogue started.

Summarizing what the problem is, what you do, what you are about, or what your business does, and which challenges it solves, in a sentence or a short paragraph, is invaluable when dealing with potential decision-makers or supporters.

Learn how to pitch and get your ideas heard!

Often, we face challenges to make decision-makers listen to us while pitching. Or they don’t have time, are too busy, or are seemingly not interested in what we have to say. The pitch uses techniques and buzzwords that are designed to capture the interest of the other person. While it can’t explain a problem and its solution in detail, it can pique the attention of the person to know more.

So essentially, an elevator pitch is an advertisement, or a trailer or some kind of sneak-peek for the actual conversation. If executed well, it can be a great conversation starter or can lead to an invitation to present the challenge in more detail. Without a well-designed and well-executed elevator pitch, you might not ever get the chance to speak and convince the decision-maker.

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When to use an elevator pitch

Many people think that the skill is only useful for salespeople. What Most don’t realize is that day to day we are selling something. Whether it’s trying to get a job by impressing the recruiter, advancing your career by convincing your supervisor that you can take on a big project, you met a potential partner or funder at a networking event and want their support, there’s always a brand, product, or idea that we are trying to sell somebody. So, applying this sales technique can significantly help us to advance our cause. So, when should you use an elevator pitch? – All the time!


How does it work?

An elevator pitch has been designed to quickly capture the interest of the audience, convince them to listen to everything you need to say, and convince them that they would like to learn more.

An elevator pitch is essentially a short speech delivered in 60 seconds or less. However, you can also design pitches that are two minutes, four, or seven minutes long. Each pitch length has its purpose, but for an initial blind-pitch that quickly gets somebody on board, the 60 seconds or less format is the most ideal. The way to think about an elevator pitch is as an executive summary that provides a concise overview of the challenge and its solution as well as how the resolution will be achieved and who will achieve it.


An elevator pitch does this by answering fundamental – but all too often overlooked – queries, and is structured in such a way as:

Learn how to construct an effective Elevator Pitch


Who are you?

    • You have to introduce yourself as silly as it sounds
      • Some background – Tell the listener some background information about yourself in one or two sentences = like which company you’re working for or which department
      • (If you need to) Explain some of the background and give context


        Make the connection

        • Often when people are elevator pitching, they are so focused on the script that they are literally talking to no one.
        • Make sure you don’t forget that you’re talking to a human being. Connect whatever you do to whatever your listener does or needs.


          Make the ask

          • This is scary because most of us have a fear of rejection. However, you have to ask the listener for something.
          • You can’t merely pitch for the sake of pitching. You want the listener to take action


            Close it out

            • This can be combined with the ask but can also be a separate action.
            • You want always to make sure that you have some kind of closing statements and remarks.
            • Always kill them with kindness and also propose your own action points.



  • An efficient elevator pitch leaves the listener with information about how your Solution functions. Individuals are busy; the more potentially useful someone is, the busier they’re likely to be.


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Things to always keep in mind



You have to connect with the listener. It’s not so much about the story that you’re telling. It’s more about if what you are saying is relating to their needs, aspirations or worldview. Think about what you want your listener to do, what do you want to achieve with the communication.



Think about what you want your listener to take out of the conversation. You want them to leave with something that is easy to remember and easy to understand. If you’re making your pitch to complicated your listener most likely will zoom out, and you will lose them on the way, leading to an unsuccessful pitch. Keep it simple, make everything clear, and stay focused on the goal.


Don’t beat around the bush

From the very first moment, start with your pitch. You have a minimal amount of time available to you, so make sure you utilize every single second of it. Every moment you’re wasting with pleasantries or irrelevant things is a moment that could have been used to get your listeners buy-in. It also shows the listener that you are a professional and that you know how to do your job. Make conscious decisions that are reflected in your pitch from the beginning until the very last word.


Script it

The best way of how to develop your elevator pitch is by writing down all the things you would like to communicate, in bullet form. Keep the above tips in mind and write down your first draft of the elevator pitch. Then time yourself while reading your draft back to yourself. Trim it as needed or rewrite it as you see fit. Then practice it with friends and family and incorporate their feedback.  When you have your first basic elevator pitch, use it as a template for further pitches that are custom tailored to various situations.


The purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or solution so compelling that the person you're with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over. - Seth Godin Click To Tweet


If you want to learn more about skills that help you in your career or business, please subscribe to my newsletter and social media profiles. Don’t hesitate to shoot a DM or email with your questions.



Are you doing it wrong? Tell us about a time when a pitch worked out really well for you. Or tell us about a time when the above tips could have become handy. What was your most hilarious pitch? Leave a comment below and let me know. Also, signup for our newsletter to get more tips on pitching and other valuable skills.


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Emanuel Dominic

Founder at Emanuel Dominic
Emanuel is an enthusiast of business, talent and leadership development, an avid reader, and a practitioner of innovative solutions.
An Industry 4.0 enthusiast, social entrepreneur and a changemaker by nature. He wants to see people and businesses prosper and reach their full potential.
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