The Elevator Pitch

It happens all of the time. You’re at a party, a family function, playing golf, or yes—waiting for an elevator and someone asks you the question: What do you do?elevator

Crafting a 30-second pitch to spark interest in your work or business may seem simple enough, but any short speech takes time to pack a persuasive punch. Here are some questions to consider before starting:

  1. What does your organization do?
  2. What makes your organization—product and/or service—unique?
  3. Who benefits from what you offer?
  4. What is your expertise?

Now, put it on paper. Take your time to answer each question, writing down everything you’d want a prospective customer to know about your company and how it might benefit them.

Then, read your draft aloud. Listen for the most compelling bits of information. When you think you know what they are, get your pen and take out everything else. Aim for capturing key points. It’s impossible to tell someone everything in 30 seconds. A good elevator pitch leaves people wanting more.

When you’ve put it all together, time yourself. Cut more if needed. Be sure to rehearse aloud and rewrite when necessary. The words we use in speech are often different than the words we use in writing. An elevator pitch should flow naturally, more like conversation than marketing copy. Aim to connect with people, not just sell or educate them. The more you practice, the better it will sound. Try it out on friends when you’re ready, or coworkers you trust.


The next time someone asks you what you do, you’ll be ready. You may just leave them with more questions, so be sure to have your business card handy.