A Better Elevator Pitch

Do you ever go to networking events where you are given 30 seconds to present your “elevator pitch”? I’m not fond of the word but you may already know what it means based on its widespread use. Your elevator pitch is your opportunity to describe what you do in as succinct a manner as possible — in the time it would take  you to ride the elevator with someone. As you listen to others deliver theirs, consider how many actually stand out as being interesting and memorable. How many of them actually engage you?

This morning at a breakfast meeting, I heard at least two dozen elevator pitches from professionals in the finance field — wealth managers, accountants, and financial advisors. Each one sounded the same, used the same jargon, and came across as impersonal as the last one. Truth be told, it wasn’t any clearer to me by the end as to what any one of these folks could do for me.

The Confused Mind Does Nothing

You can’t expect people to make the leap in their minds from hearing your business jargon to understanding how your services might benefit them. They won’t or can’t do it, especially if they have only 30 seconds to focus on it before the next person is up pitching.

What would quickly unravel the mystery of what you do? Stories — clear examples of people you have been able to help (without using names, of course). You have to paint the picture for your audience members and help them see how others are using your services. They won’t be able to do it without your help. Why? Because you know your  business — your audience doesn’t. You may think the value and benefits of your services are self-evident. They’re not.  But if you tell your audience about people just like them, and they can see that they have something in common with the situations you describe, you’ll stand a much better chance of making a connection with them. You want people to be thinking “Yes, that’s for me.”

People Remember Stories

Everyone has stories or examples to share. You do too.

A real estate agent, for example, has a wealth of them. All you need is one quick example for your elevator pitch. Here are a few as food for thought:

  • Last week I helped a young newly-married couple find the perfect condo for their needs.
  • Today I’m working with a single dad with 3 kids who’s looking for….
  • Tomorrow I’m taking a retired business woman to look at …. She has 2 dogs and a cat and wants a big yard.

If you’re a banker or insurance agent or business coach or chiropractor or personal trainer or…..you can do the same.


So, lose the impersonal corporate speak and be both interesting and memorable during your elevator pitch. Paint a picture for your audience by telling a story. Help them see how others are using your services.

Tell us in the comment section about the quick and simple stories you use in your elevator pitch.


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