It’s no secret that - unless you live in the middle of nowhere - you come into contact with about three thousand marketing messages a day. This is the necessary minimum that we absorb when living in the so-called civilized world. As a consequence, we can devote less and less time to acquiring new information about possible business offers. That is why a good, short ‘pitch’ is now of premium importance. An ‘elevator pitch’ is just a short, several seconds-long presentation which is supposed to encourage your audience to learn more about your proposal. How should we prepare our pitch to best interest our listeners?

Legend has it that, one day, a man with a business idea goes into an elevator with someone who had the resources to make that idea a reality. During the 30-second journey, the man with the idea made a presentation that was so effective that he piqued the investor’s interest, earning an invitation to further talks, and eventually an investment. What’s the conclusion?

An elevator pitch is definitely not meant to be a complete presentation of our idea, with all the details condensed into 30 or 60 seconds.

What is an elevator pitch?

It’s a kind of teaser - a short, concise message that is designed to stimulate listeners’ appetite to learn more about you, your company, or your project. It’s supposed to be something your audience will remember, something that will convince them to invite you for further conversations where you can discuss your offer in more detail.

How long does it take to prepare an elevator pitch?

According to the principle that if we have an hour to talk about ourselves, we can start right away, but if we only have 10 minutes, we need three to five hours to prepare, we’ll need a lot of practice and at least a few hours to develop a solid and convincing elevator pitch. As in many areas of life, the more you practice, the less difficult it will be. In addition, your pitch will evolve and change over time, as you use it. You’ll see what works (and what doesn’t) when you try the pitch at people. Don’t be afraid to change it! Sticking too closely to a pattern can get you in trouble.

Creating an ‘elevator pitch’

As is often the case when we create the stories we tell, there’s a recipe for creating an elevator pitch that will be attractive to our audience. This recipe contains three main elements.

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