Improving your elevator pitch


An elevator pitch is the short description you can give about your business in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Your elevator pitch must be brief. It must say enough about what you do so people can easily understand and remember you. And, ideally, you want your elevator pitch to make a positive impression.

It is not easy to develop an elevator pitch. It takes quite a bit of thinking to decide which aspects of your business to mention. Even more frustrating, you have to decide which parts of your company to leave out. Often these can be the things you’re most excited about – a new technology, a great location, the fact you get to go to Europe on buying trips. But if they’re not central to the core of your business, then they don’t belong in an elevator pitch.

Your elevator pitch must not only be short, it must be clear. Unless you’re in a highly technical field, your neighbor or grandmother should be able to understand your business well enough to be able to describe it to someone else.

Your elevator pitch should touch – very briefly – on the products or services you sell, what market you serve, and your competitive advantage. It is often a good idea to use an analogy as part of your elevator pitch, especially if you’re in a new or difficult-to-grasp field. If you’re in an easy-to-understand business, your elevator pitch theoretically could be very short. But you still want it long enough to distinguish you from your competitors.

So go out and find a four-story building with an elevator, ride up and down and practice your “elevator pitch.” That way you’ll be completely prepared the next time someone asks you, “What do you do?”


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