ELEVATOR PITCHES: How to sell yourself in 30 seconds

Imagine you were on an elevator, the doors open and Richard Branson steps in.


He says he has an opportunity of a life time for the right person and it will take their career from zero to hero.

Now, you’re on the 18th floor and before you reach the bottom you need to convince him you are the person he is looking for.

This is going to require the perfect elevator pitch!

What is an elevator pitch?

Well, an elevator pitch isn’t just for the elevator! You can use it anytime or anywhere.

It is a few brief sentences that you can get out in 30 seconds or less telling a person who you are and what you’re about.

And it’s designed to get the person you are talking to want to know more or perhaps take an action.

Elevator pitches can be used for:​

  • Personal brand building
  • Networking
  • Any kind of selling
  • Pitching business ideas

...And this is just to name to name a few. Really its only limited by your needs and imagination.

Since elevator pitches can be used in a variety of situations - there is no one size fits approach on how to craft your pitch.

However, to get you moving today these four steps will take you in the right direction:

STEP 1: Know your outcome

Remember an elevator pitch is designed to get a person to want to know more about something or take an action.

Before crafting your pitch be clear on what you want the person to do that you are talking to.

Here are a few outcome ideas:

  • Promote personal brand
  • ​Share a message that you are passionate about
  • Promote your company or own business
  • check
    Find collaborators for a project
  • check
    Get inquiries for your product or service
  • check
    simply generate interest from the listener to give you more time for a greater objective

Once you know your outcome it’s time to build your pitch around it - this is step 2.

STEP 2: Craft your elevator pitch

Step 2 starts with a word of warning since, this is where things can go off the rails! It can be easy to start rambling, so when crafting your elevator pitch challenge, yourself to say what you need to say in three sentences or less.

To craft your pitch, think of your audience – what do they need to know and what would emotionally connect them to drive your outcome.

If you’re going blank at this point – I understand – this has happened to me on more than one occasion - crafting elevator pitches is not always easy. I have found the more you care about it, the harder it can be.

If you get stuck, go back to your outcome, and ask yourself these 5 helpful questions:

  • 1
    What excites me about this?
  • 2
    Why does that excite me?
  • 3
    How does what I’m talking about help people?
  • 4
    How does it uniquely tie into my story, passions, talents and experience?
  • 5
    Why do I care and why should anyone else care?

These questions should help get the ideas flowing. Just remember don’t dwell on this all day and try to get it perfect, the next couple of steps will help you to do just that.

STEP 3: Practice and test

Now you have your elevator pitch practice it a few times in the mirror or on your way to work. Get familiar with it until it becomes a natural part of your speech. This will be much easier when you feel connected to the words so do make sure, at step 2, you’ve crafted a pitch personally excites you!

Alright, now you’re ready to test. You may want to start slowly by testing your elevator pitch with friends and colleagues, however, the best people to test it on will be strangers. So seek out opportunities like networking events and see how your pitch fairs.

Look at people’s reaction and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Ask people what they thought, was it interesting, did it make them feel anything.

Armed with this feedback its onto step 4.

STEP 4: Iterate


Use feedback to perfect your pitch. Assess whether you are achieving the desired outcome with your pitch and look at how you could refine your pitch to achieve your outcomes faster and more effectively?

At this step it’s simply a process of rinse and repeat.

You can iterate as many times as you like.

You may also decide to have more than one elevator pitch to suit different needs, like, one for networking and a different one for selling.

I hope this article helps gets you started on creating your perfect elevator pitch and perhaps if you’re lucky enough to bump into Sir Richard Branson you can impress and pitch your way to success.

Thanks for reading and if you liked this article please share it.

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