Elevator pitch

Everything you need to know about an elevator pitch

Reading time: about 6 min

The term “elevator pitch” is often used in the film industry, but it’s easily applied to any line of work. In this article, we’ll teach you how to create an elevator pitch and share tips to make it effective as possible.

What is an elevator pitch?

The primary purpose of an elevator pitch is to quickly capture the listener's attention and leave a memorable impression. The “elevator pitch”  refers to a concise and compelling presentation that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It's often used in networking events, job interviews, sales meetings, startup pitches, or any situation where you must quickly make a strong case for what you have to offer.

The concept of an elevator pitch is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 20th century. As skyscrapers began to rise in major cities, elevators became a standard means of transportation between floors. Business professionals, particularly salespeople and entrepreneurs, would often find themselves sharing an elevator ride with important decision-makers or industry influencers, so they learned to take advantage of the opportunity.

The elevator pitch has since become a fundamental tool in business and networking, helping individuals convey their value proposition effectively and leave a memorable impression on potential clients or collaborators. Whether in elevators or any other situation with limited time, delivering a compelling elevator pitch remains valuable for professionals across various industries.

The structure of a successful elevator pitch

An elevator pitch should be brief and to the point, typically lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. Remember that people's attention spans are often short, so being succinct and engaging is essential. Here's a general breakdown of an elevator pitch structure:

Introduction (5-10 seconds): Start with a brief introduction of yourself, including your name, role, or what you do.

Value proposition (20-30 seconds): Clearly and compellingly state the core of your message. Explain what problem you solve, what you offer, or what makes you unique.

Evidence or benefits (20-30 seconds): Provide key points or examples supporting your value proposition. Consider specific accomplishments, successful projects, or notable clients.

Call to action (5-10 seconds): End with a clear call to action, which could be a request for a follow-up meeting, a demonstration, or whatever is appropriate for the context.

Don’t forget to mention your target audience and what sets you apart from competitors. 

AIDA structure

You can also use the AIDA structure:

  1. Attention

The first step is to grab the audience's attention. In a world filled with numerous distractions and messages, marketers must create eye-catching and compelling content to stand out. Consider utilizing intriguing headlines, striking visuals, or a unique opening statement that piques the audience's curiosity.

  1. Interest

Once you’ve got their attention, your next goal is to build interest in the product, service, or message. Marketers must provide relevant information and benefits that resonate with the audience's needs, wants, or pain points. The goal is to make the audience want to know more and engage further with the content.

  1. Desire

After gaining the audience's interest, the focus shifts to creating a desire for the product or service. Marketers should emphasize the unique selling points, advantages, or benefits of what they offer. This stage aims to evoke an emotional response or a sense of longing, making the audience feel that the product or service can fulfill their desires or solve their problems.

  1. Action

The final stage of the AIDA model is to prompt the audience to take action. This could be a call to action encouraging the audience to purchase, sign up for a newsletter, request more information, or take other desired actions. The CTA should be clear, persuasive, and straightforward, guiding the audience on what steps to take next.

When to use an elevator pitch

The key is to prepare an elevator pitch that suits different contexts and adjust it based on the specific audience and situation. A well-crafted elevator pitch can be a powerful tool for making connections, advancing your career, and promoting your business effectively.

Here are some common situations where an elevator pitch is valuable:

Networking events

When you attend conferences, seminars, trade shows, or any event where you meet new people, an elevator pitch is an excellent way to make a memorable first impression and initiate conversations with potential clients or collaborators.

Job interviews

During job interviews, you may be asked to introduce yourself briefly. An elevator pitch can help you present your skills, experience, and career goals concisely and impressively.

Business meetings

When meeting with potential clients or stakeholders, a well-crafted elevator pitch can provide a quick overview of your company's products or services and pique their interest for a more in-depth discussion.

Entrepreneurial pitches

Suppose you are an entrepreneur seeking funding or investment for your startup. In that case, an elevator pitch is often the first step in grabbing the attention of potential investors and persuading them to hear more about your business.

Social gatherings

When asked about what you do for a living or your interests in casual social situations, having a concise and engaging elevator pitch can help you articulate your passions and achievements.

Elevator encounters

Though rare, the classic scenario of meeting someone influential in an elevator—or another happenstance location—still exists. Having a well-prepared elevator pitch allows you to take advantage of chance encounters with decision-makers or industry leaders.

Online platforms

Elevator pitches are also used on social media profiles, professional networking sites, and personal websites as a quick and impactful way to introduce yourself or your brand to a broader audience.

Examples of solid elevator pitches

Your elevator pitch should be unique, but consider these examples to get you started:

At a networking event

"Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm a freelance graphic designer that helps businesses elevate their brands through stunning and effective design. With over five years of experience, I've worked with various clients, from small startups to established companies, and I pride myself on delivering creative solutions that drive results. My expertise includes logo design, branding, and digital marketing materials that leave a lasting impression. I'd love to discuss how I can enhance your brand's identity and help you stand out in today's competitive market. Let's grab a coffee and explore the possibilities!"

An entrepreneurial pitch

“I'm Alex—the founder of GreenTech Solutions. We're on a mission to revolutionize renewable energy access for every home and business. Our innovative solar panel technology harnesses 30% more energy from the sun, making it one of the most efficient solutions in the market. By reducing energy costs and carbon footprints, we create a greener future for generations to come. We've already secured partnerships with key suppliers, and our pilot installations have received rave reviews for their performance and reliability. I'd love to share more details about our business plan and how you can join us in making a difference."

At a social gathering

"Hi, I'm Emily. I work in the nonprofit sector and am passionate about advocating for mental health awareness. Recently, I co-founded a community-based initiative called Bluesky Minds. We’re breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and providing accessible resources for those in need. We organize workshops, support groups, and educational events to promote well-being and encourage open conversations. You’re welcome at any of our upcoming mental health events—reach out anytime!”

Elevator pitch

Explore all the ways Lucid can level up your workflow.

Learn more

About Lucidspark

Lucidspark, a cloud-based virtual whiteboard, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This cutting-edge digital canvas brings teams together to brainstorm, collaborate, and consolidate collective thinking into actionable next steps—all in real time. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidspark.com.

Related articles

Bring your bright ideas to life.

Sign up free

or continue with

Sign in with GoogleSign inSign in with MicrosoftSign inSign in with SlackSign in

Get Started

  • Pricing
  • Individual
  • Team
  • Enterprise
  • Contact sales
PrivacyLegalCookie settingsCookie policy
  • linkedin
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • glassdoor
  • tiktok

© 2024 Lucid Software Inc.