Elevator Pitch In A Nutshell

An elevator pitch is a short speech that introduces an individual, business, or product. Brevity is particularly important in sales, where a pitch must be able to sell itself quickly. Brevity also demonstrates that the person making a pitch has personal and professional aptitude and can think on their feet during unexpected situations.

Understanding an elevator pitch

The primary purpose of an elevator pitch is to explain a concept quickly, clearly, and persuasively in less than 30 seconds.

It is this brevity that gives the elevator pitch its name, referring to the average amount of time one spends in an elevator. 

But why is brevity is important?

Brevity is particularly important in sales, where a pitch must be able to sell itself quickly. Brevity also demonstrates that the person making a pitch has personal and professional aptitude and can think on their feet during unexpected situations.

Elevator pitches can also be used for:

  • Interview preparation – where an interviewee will inevitably be asked to tell the panel who they are and what they stand for.
  • Resume preparation – as part of a cover letter or professional summary statement.
  • Networking at events and gatherings where industry contacts are present.

Creating and then delivering an elevator pitch

Creating an elevator pitch begins by answering some exploratory questions:

  1. Who are you? Don’t make the mistake of diving into your elevator pitch before you have introduced yourself. Describe yourself and your role in the business – but keep this introductory information to a minimum.
  2. How is your company making an impact? Do you know what your employer stands for? Again, it’s important to be succinct.
  3. What is the value proposition? In other words, what value does your business provide that is unique and specific?
  4. Deliver the hook – the most important part because it can be used to grab attention and build rapport. Perhaps it is an attention-grabbing statistic or fact. Perhaps it is a compelling story that somehow relates to the prospect being pitched. Here, it’s helpful to have a good understanding of the target audience to pre-emptively solve a problem they are experiencing.
  5. Include a call to action, sometimes called the “ask”. That is, what is the desired outcome of the pitch? Prospects that hear lots of pitches are used to being asked for something. Do not neglect a call to action for fear of making the wrong move.
  6. Revise and refine. Before delivering an elevator pitch, read the written version out loud to ensure that it is conversational. Practice is vital. A tone that is too formal or indeed too informal may convey a lack of confidence or conviction.

Delivering an elevator pitch

In delivering an elevator pitch, understand that flexibility is key. Elevator pitches are not intended to be delivered like speeches. Instead, they must flow in an organic, conservational manner. While each pitch should follow the same basic structure, each must be customized to the particular nuances of the industry or prospect being pitched.

Indeed, the prospect will often ask questions that you haven’t prepared for. But this is the ideal outcome because in most cases, questions are a sign of interest. The ability to handle left-of-field questions is often dependent on how much prior research on the prospect has been performed.

Lastly, be prepared. Keep copies of a business card or other promotional material on your person to close the interaction strongly.

Key takeaways

  • An elevator pitch is a short, persuasive, and versatile speech that can be used to sell or introduce a product, business, or individual.
  • A successful elevator pitch is dependent upon brevity, which conveys confidence and professional aptitude.
  • To create an elevator pitch, a preliminary written version should follow a basic structure. When delivering the pitch in person, remember to remain conversational and end the interaction with a call to action.

FourWeekMBA Business Toolbox

Business Engineering


Tech Business Model Template

A tech business model is made of four main components: value model (value propositions, missionvision), technological model (R&D management), distribution model (sales and marketing organizational structure), and financial model (revenue modeling, cost structure, profitability and cash generation/management). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build a solid tech business model.

Web3 Business Model Template

A Blockchain Business Model according to the FourWeekMBA framework is made of four main components: Value Model (Core Philosophy, Core Values and Value Propositions for the key stakeholders), Blockchain Model (Protocol Rules, Network Shape and Applications Layer/Ecosystem), Distribution Model (the key channels amplifying the protocol and its communities), and the Economic Model (the dynamics/incentives through which protocol players make money). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build and analyze a solid Blockchain Business Model.

Asymmetric Business Models

In an asymmetric business model, the organization doesn’t monetize the user directly, but it leverages the data users provide coupled with technology, thus have a key customer pay to sustain the core asset. For example, Google makes money by leveraging users’ data, combined with its algorithms sold to advertisers for visibility.

Business Competition

In a business world driven by technology and digitalization, competition is much more fluid, as innovation becomes a bottom-up approach that can come from anywhere. Thus, making it much harder to define the boundaries of existing markets. Therefore, a proper business competition analysis looks at customer, technology, distribution, and financial model overlaps. While at the same time looking at future potential intersections among industries that in the short-term seem unrelated.

Technological Modeling

Technological modeling is a discipline to provide the basis for companies to sustain innovation, thus developing incremental products. While also looking at breakthrough innovative products that can pave the way for long-term success. In a sort of Barbell Strategy, technological modeling suggests having a two-sided approach, on the one hand, to keep sustaining continuous innovation as a core part of the business model. On the other hand, it places bets on future developments that have the potential to break through and take a leap forward.

Transitional Business Models

A transitional business model is used by companies to enter a market (usually a niche) to gain initial traction and prove the idea is sound. The transitional business model helps the company secure the needed capital while having a reality check. It helps shape the long-term vision and a scalable business model.

Minimum Viable Audience

The minimum viable audience (MVA) represents the smallest possible audience that can sustain your business as you get it started from a microniche (the smallest subset of a market). The main aspect of the MVA is to zoom into existing markets to find those people which needs are unmet by existing players.

Business Scaling

Business scaling is the process of transformation of a business as the product is validated by wider and wider market segments. Business scaling is about creating traction for a product that fits a small market segment. As the product is validated it becomes critical to build a viable business model. And as the product is offered at wider and wider market segments, it’s important to align product, business model, and organizational design, to enable wider and wider scale.

Market Expansion Theory

The market expansion consists in providing a product or service to a broader portion of an existing market or perhaps expanding that market. Or yet, market expansions can be about creating a whole new market. At each step, as a result, a company scales together with the market covered.



Asymmetric Betting


Growth Matrix

In the FourWeekMBA growth matrix, you can apply growth for existing customers by tackling the same problems (gain mode). Or by tackling existing problems, for new customers (expand mode). Or by tackling new problems for existing customers (extend mode). Or perhaps by tackling whole new problems for new customers (reinvent mode).

Revenue Streams Matrix

In the FourWeekMBA Revenue Streams Matrix, revenue streams are classified according to the kind of interactions the business has with its key customers. The first dimension is the “Frequency” of interaction with the key customer. As the second dimension, there is the “Ownership” of the interaction with the key customer.

Revenue Modeling

Revenue model patterns are a way for companies to monetize their business models. A revenue model pattern is a crucial building block of a business model because it informs how the company will generate short-term financial resources to invest back into the business. Thus, the way a company makes money will also influence its overall business model.

Pricing Strategies

A pricing strategy or model helps companies find the pricing formula in fit with their business models. Thus aligning the customer needs with the product type while trying to enable profitability for the company. A good pricing strategy aligns the customer with the company’s long term financial sustainability to build a solid business model.

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