3 Sentences to a Great Elevator Speech


First, let’s define the term. An “elevator pitch” is a really concise way of describing what your company does. It’s usually 90 words or less and was given its name because you should be able to tell someone exactly what you do while you’re on an elevator together – about 30 seconds.

So… what’s yours? What’s your elevator pitch?

Fact is; the vast majority of companies don’t have this simple but essential positioning statement in place. They never took the time to put it into words. They never took the time to define their business model in clear concise terms.

We’re going to change that.

You see, your elevator pitch is a metaphorical equivalent to your business focus. Most businesses don’t have a true focus. Taking the time to write an effective elevator pitch forces you to find your focus. Your elevator pitch forms the foundation for your entire business and, in particular, all of your marketing efforts.

Before we start crafting your pitch and identifying your focus, we need to define our objective. What are we actually trying to accomplish? This is important so listen up! We want people to KNOW what you sell, WANT what you sell and BUY what you sell – in just 30 seconds.

In order to do that, we need to use every second wisely. We need a strategy. We need every word to play a role. So here’s what to do. Write your elevator pitch one sentence at a time. There will be 4 in all.

Sentence #1 needs to identify who you are. Start by taking the following format: hello, my name is XXX and I am a(n) YYY specializing in ZZZ. I know it’s simple but it’s a start. You can refine it later.

Sentence #2 needs to describe your specialty in more detail. But it needs to do more than that. It also needs to identify the problem that exists and how you solve that problem. Think back to the PAIN we identified two weeks ago. Try to work that in somehow. Identify the problem and explain how you eliminate PAIN with your product or service.

Sentence #3 needs to differentiate you from your competition. Why are you better? What makes you different? You need to use this sentence to establish credibility, build value and provide proof.

Specific, specific, specific. If you have statistics to back up your claim, include them. If other products are more expensive, say so. If you deliver better results, make that clear.

And finally, sentence #4 needs to give a call-to-action. Tell them what to do next. Be specific. What action do you want them to take? Say it! This is often the most difficult part but it’s also the most important. Tell them what to do. People like direction and hate surprises. Be confident and be honest. Tell them what to do next.

Now, go back and put it all together. Write it all in paragraph format and read it to yourself. Make adjustments and try different words. When you’re happy with it, read it to your friends and work colleagues. Read it to people who have no idea what you do and ask them if your 4-sentence elevator pitch makes it clear.

Here are a couple last-minute tips. First, don’t say too much. Make sure your pitch is 90 words or less. It needs to be precise and quick – no run-on sentences. Clear simple statements. That’s it.

Second, dumb it down. Seriously. Get rid of the jargon. Even the ones you think everybody should know. They don’t. People who are not in your field don’t know those ‘easy’ words. So take them out. Your pitch needs to be written at a 6th grade level. Simple, simple. You want an 11-year-old child to hear your pitch and understand what you do.

This project is far more important than you might think. It forms the basis for everything else you do. And next week, we’ll start looking out to the big world to find your target market. Once you know exactly what you do and you also know where your target market is, we’re in business!