How To Create the Perfect Elevator Pitch in 6 Steps
Updated March 10, 2023
Perfecting your elevator pitch can help in all areas of your career, whether you're trying to secure your dream job, convince investors to invest in a company or sell products and services. An effective elevator pitch can allow you to make new connections and leave lasting, positive impressions on audiences. While it's a valuable tool, it takes effort and practice to craft a powerful pitch.
In this article, we discuss what a perfect elevator pitch is, describe how to create one and offer some examples to guide you.
What is a perfect elevator pitch?
A perfect elevator pitch allows you, in 60 seconds or less, to tell someone about yourself, your product or your idea in an interesting, memorable and succinct way. Job candidates can use this tool to introduce themselves to hiring managers or recruiters, offering a quick overview of who they are and what kind of role they seek. Sales professionals and entrepreneurs also use this tool to sell their products and services.
What to include in a perfect elevator pitch
Here are the key components to include in an elevator pitch:
Problem: Explain the problem that you can solve as a professional or with your product or service.
Solution: Once you've defined the problem, you can explain your solution.
Unique selling proposition (USP): Highlight what makes your product, service or candidacy different from the competition.
Hook: Make a memorable statement to capture your audience's attention at the end. For example, you might emphasize the profits their business could make by using your product.
When to use an elevator pitch
You might want to use an elevator pitch when:
Interviewing for a job: During a job interview, the interviewer may say, "Tell me about yourself" or ask you to pitch yourself as a candidate. In response to this, you can deliver a concise, engaging elevator pitch to accentuate your qualifications for the position and outline how you plan to contribute to the company.
Introducing an organization to investors: If you want to start a business, you may choose to seek investors that can fund the organization. An elevator pitch can allow you to promote your business idea or model to potential stakeholders and persuade them to support your efforts.
Marketing a product or service: If you work in marketing, sales, business or a related field, you may be responsible for promoting a product or service to potential customers. You can use an elevator pitch to summarize a product's or service's value and encourage audiences to make purchases.
How to create the perfect elevator pitch
Use these steps to craft the perfect elevator pitch:
1. Introduce yourself
Near the beginning of your elevator pitch, deliver one sentence about who you are. Mention your full name and occupation. For example, you might introduce yourself as a sales representative for a specific company or a consultant for small- to medium-sized business owners. If you're a student, you could clarify your major and name the school you attend.
Read more: How To Introduce Yourself Professionally
2. Explain what you do
Write one or two sentences about what you do and the specific problem you solve. If you're a job candidate, highlight your professional abilities and areas of expertise. If you're advertising an idea, explain the idea and why it's important. Focus on the benefits you provide and how you impact the lives of others.
3. Identify who you serve
Write one or two sentences about who your ideal clients are. You may want to outline how your products or services help this group of people. If you're a job candidate in an interview, consider discussing why you want to work for the hiring company.
4. State what makes you different
Write down your USP to distinguish yourself from competitors. If you're endorsing a product, service or company, reference how it meets consumer needs. If you're a job candidate, write about the experiences, competencies or credentials that make you unique as a candidate.
5. Include an exciting hook
Add a hook at the end to capture the attention of your audience. For example, you might immediately convey how your product or service can impact their lives. You could also use a thought-provoking question instead of a statement, such as one that addresses the problem that they may be experiencing.
6. Create a cohesive pitch
Once you have drafted different parts of your pitch, combine the statements into a coherent presentation. Make sure you can transition between points in a clear, conversational manner. Practice saying it out loud by yourself and with others to ensure it's brief and understandable.
Elevator pitch examples
Review these models of elevator pitches to guide you in writing your own:
Here's an example of an elevator pitch for marketing a new app idea:
Do you enjoy traveling? If yes, do you ever wish there was a way to document all the restaurants, hotels and other places you love in one central location? My name is Sabrina Hoss, and I'm a software designer. I've built Travel With Me, an app that allows users to upload links, images, notes, maps and more for different destinations. My app allows world travelers, or even just people who appreciate their hometowns, to easily organize their favorite places and recommendations. In preliminary testing, 98% of users said this app improved their life.
In this example, a candidate applying for a tutor job gives their elevator pitch to an interviewer:
My name is Sophia Hernandez. I'm a student at the University of Klobble studying English. Due to my academic training in research and writing, I'm an expert in conveying complex information clearly, helpfully. In addition, because of my experience volunteering at my local community center, I'm great with kids. In addition, taking care of three younger siblings has given me a unique perspective on the importance of making children feel comfortable and safe when trying to teach them important lessons. I would love to contribute to this organization as a writing tutor.
In this elevator pitch, a salesperson promotes a skincare company to potential customers:
I'm John Chang, and I've been a successful skincare consultant for over seven years. In my time in the industry, I've noticed that one of the biggest challenges people encounter in skincare is building a routine. Inner Peace Cosmetics can fix this. You can create custom products according to your unique skincare needs, and when you connect with the app, you can get daily reminders to use each product. You can even become eligible for discounts and gifts by participating in the app. This innovative business model is perfect for those who want to improve their skincare routine.
Tips for writing an elevator pitch
Here are some extra tips to help as you create a compelling elevator pitch:
Keep it simple
An excellent elevator pitch is simple and understandable, even by people who don't know your industry. To accomplish this, avoid using jargon or industry-related words that the average person may not understand. One way to keep your pitch simple is to use this basic formula:
I/We solve [problem] by providing [benefit], to help [ideal customer/client] accomplish [desired result].
Prepare different lengths for your elevator pitch
Depending on the situation, you may have different lengths of time to present your pitch. For example, if you're at a structured networking event, you may have two minutes to introduce yourself. In another situation, you might have only 20 seconds to tell someone who you are and what you do. By creating pitches in varying lengths, you can feel ready to communicate your message effectively and in an appropriate length of time.
Related: How To Pitch an Idea in 6 Steps
Create a one-sentence pitch
When creating pitches of varying lengths, craft one that's only one sentence. When you're speaking with someone, consider leading with your one-sentence pitch. If the person follows up with a question, it's a great opportunity to share your full elevator pitch or a more extended variation.
Related: 15 Tips for Phone Sales Pitches
Focus on benefits
If your pitch is about a product or service, focus its benefits to its users. If a feature makes it unique and different from the competition, you may want to mention this at the end. Focus the majority of your pitch on what your product or service can allow people to do or accomplish.
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