Know your elevator pitch

Our four tips for the perfect elevator pitch will help you to hone down your business description into something short, snappy and effective.

Imagine you are in a lift going about your day and suddenly a very powerful potential client comes in. Hellos are exchanged and suddenly you have a high-value captive audience.   You have 15, perhaps 30 seconds to pitch your business to someone – What do you say?

1 - Be concise and take it from the top 

By being brief but detailed, you are demonstrating confidence in what you do as well as a consideration for their time. Start with your name and stay friendly with your shoulders back with good eye contact. Body language says a lot and this this is your very first impression, so make it a good one.   

2 - Your business name and reach 

After names have been exchanged, the response of the other party will usually prompt what you do next. In most cases they will ask ‘what do you do’, but carrying on immediately after your introduction is also fine if they don’t immediately say anything. Start with ‘I work for’ or ‘My business is’ and carry on to briefly describe your reach with ‘we cover’ or ‘I am based in’ to give your organisation geographical context.   

3 - What you offer and why you are there 

By now you are probably less than 10 seconds into your dialogue. Now that the stage has been set, it's the time to describe what your business actually does and what you offer. Remember to be sincere, confident and enthusiastic as you briefly outline the nature of your business and how it helps people. If you already know what the other party does, try to angle it towards their needs without being too forward. Try to stay away from technical details as this runs the risk of going on for too long and instead focus on the benefits and advantages that your clients get.   

4 - Rounding it all off 

The best way to end your speech is to very briefly touch upon your aims, and why you are at the conference. By highlighting a forward-thinking attitude you are more likely to spark more interest in your audience. All in all, this explanation should take less than 20 seconds. It may seem like a lot on paper, but by practicing your main points and rehearsing before the event, you should be able to describe your entire business and motivations in a brief and interesting way.   

An elevator pitch can often make or break your business in the eyes of potential investors and key customers. Make sure you’ve sufficiently researched your business idea to ensure your proposition is watertight. If you need more advice and support on market conditions, legal issues and anything else, why not come along to our Mini Masterclass: ‘Researching Your Business Idea’ and let us help you make your business a reality.


The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License.

See also

Plan to start your business

Plan to grow your business

Protecting your ideas