How to Craft a Winning Elevator Pitch

You’re at a networking event with decision-makers, financial backers, and other influencers who could make a significant impact on your company’s future.

After some chit chat, you’re asked, “So...what do you do?”

This is where far too many of us stumble over our words—at the elevator pitch.

Named for the average length of an elevator ride, the elevator pitch is your 30- to 60-second story designed to quickly capture attention and get that person wanting to learn more.

And that’s a tough task, especially when you consider, as a Microsoft study concluded, the average adult attention span is shrinking—from 12 seconds in 2000 down to 8 seconds in 2016.

So, how can you craft a winning elevator pitch that grabs attention—and keeps it?

Here are three articles to help you get started.

7 Steps for Writing a Powerful Elevator Pitch

By Alyssa Gregory

Gregory shows you how to build a winning pitch in increments of one to two sentences based on an assessment of your business and target clients.

Biggest Takeaway

To craft the perfect elevator pitch, you have to be able to define yourself and your business clearly. Knowing what sets you apart from your competitors will make it that much easier to tell your story with confidence.


The Best Way to Write an Elevator Speech: It’s Time to Ditch The Pitch for Something Better

By Lori Baumgartner

Baumgartner approaches the challenge of creating a winning elevator pitch from a different angle. First, she shows you how NOT to write an elevator speech, and then fills in the remaining blank space with what an effective pitch looks and sounds like.

Biggest Takeaway

A “rehearsed monologue” is probably going to kill your one shot at a first impression by boring your listener to tears. They’ll lose interest in what you have to say and probably won’t remember a word of it. Instead, keep your elevator pitch short, relatable, and engaging so that you can deliver a winning first impression.


Top 7 Killer Elevator Pitch Examples

By Joe Neely

You’ll find a treasure trove of elevator pitch examples with templates you can adapt for your own pitch.

Biggest Takeaway

Trim your elevator pitch of unnecessary details and confusing or unfamiliar industry jargon. Keep your listener in mind by clearly communicating the advantages they can expect from your business.


Want to Dig Deeper into the Elevator Pitch Development Process?

Dig into these articles on Strategy & Storytelling.

Sean M. Lyden is CEO of Lyden Communications LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based consulting firm that helps companies use storytelling to unlock sales growth.

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