The Secret to a Perfect Elevator Pitch

Philip B. Crosby invented the concept of the 'elevator pitch' in the 80's, and it quickly became popular in the business world.


Philip B. Crosby invented the concept of the 'elevator pitch' in the 80's, and it quickly became popular in the business world​​. Today it is commonly used as a strategic tool for initial meetings. It has become so popular in fact that business schools, such as Harvard, include how-to information in their course curriculum and on their website to help people create and evaluate elevator pitches.

June 6, 2017


An elevator pitch is defined as a brief summary of an idea that is verbally expressed. It is also known as a small talk. The name originates from the idea that you only have an elevator ride to convey an idea or message. This means that you have to communicate your message clearly and concisely in a very short amount of time, anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

How to Design an Elevator Pitch (explained in less than a minute)

  1. Define your idea
    The first step to an effective elevator pitch is to define your goals including, but not limited to, who is your audience, what are their needs and, how the message is going to be conveyed. These are the main points that should be covered, and we also need to make sure we maintain a solid structure.
  2. Answer the most common questions
    An elevator pitch is not a sales pitch and your purpose is not to sell. This is the part where we must respond to questions and comments, such as tell me more about you and/or your company, what is the purpose of your product or service, how can you help us succeed, what are the market opportunities…
  3. Show how you are different 
    One of the most important aspects of an elevator pitch is to point out what sets you apart from the competition and what is different about you, your product and/or service, and your company.
  4. Explain your business model
    Finally, it’s time to explain how your project, product and/or service is going to make money and the reasons why it’s going to be successful.

These are the steps to creating a powerful elevator pitch. To reiterate, the main requirement is that it should not be too long. We must make sure that we only provide the essential information and, at the same time, we need to generate interest.

Rehearse the speech, but it is important that you do not memorize it. The last thing you want is to sound like a machine when you are delivering it. Focus on memorizing only key words and ideas to ensure you are communicating naturally.

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