A great elevator pitch is more sizzle than steak. While there’s no right formula for an elevator pitch, the best usually has these elements: offering, pain point, market data, traction, and call to action. To be able to follow the entire pitch, the listener should perfectly understand your offering (product/service) at the outset. Once your offering is understood, highlight the pain you solve. This is usually best told in the form of a story or use case. Sprinkle in exciting data and trends about the market that hint that this could be a huge opportunity. Then, move on to cover any interesting traction you’ve gotten so far. Finally, close with a call to action.
While there’s “right” time limit for an elevator pitch, the norm is 30-60 seconds. If it’s any longer, you run the risk of boring your listeners. And the first rule of elevator pitches is to never bore your listeners.
Your elevator pitch is the most versatile presentation tool in your arsenal. You should know it so well that you could recite it backwards. It’s powerful because it can be used in so many situations. Even in a full 15-minute presentation, for example, many founders open with their elevator pitch to get the audience excited and convey the big picture.