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A guide to elevator pitches (+ 3 examples to inspire yours)

By Maggie Gowland


6 min read

When a prospect wants to learn more about your business, the problem isn’t that you don’t have enough information to respond well — you typically have too much.

To hook a potential client, you must hold their attention and offer easy-to-parse points that pique their interest. And boiling down your enthusiasm and vast knowledge takes practice and preparation.

This preparation typically involves creating a 30-second elevator pitch that quickly and clearly transmits ideas to a prospect before you reach the hypothetical floor and the doors open. Use our elevator pitch examples and best practices to inspire your own.

What’s an elevator pitch? 

An elevator pitch is a 30–60-second verbal speech or written blurb about who you are, what you offer, and why the listener should choose you. You’ll typically present this pitch to gain opportunities, like scoring a new client or connecting with a fellow industry professional.

One elevator pitch won’t fit every listener, and you should have several on hand to match different audiences and best communicate what you offer. Suppose you’re a graphic designer, and a potential client you meet at a networking event is particularly interested in developing a web page. You’d deliver a 60-second web design pitch instead of a broad overview of your skills. 

And while we often envision giving elevator pitches in person, there are plenty of other opportunities to do so, like presenting your company in an email, on social media, or on your website’s landing page. 

What makes a good elevator pitch? 

Filling 30–60 seconds is easy — too easy. Excellent elevator pitches take advantage of this time by offering the right amount of information in an engaging, digestible way, without wasting precious time with unnecessary details. Good elevator speeches are:

  • Pointed use what you know about the potential client to pitch services or goods that address their pain points. 

  • Attention-grabbing speak honestly and slip in impressive metrics where possible. This is a delicate balance. You don’t want to sound machinelike, rolling off company facts, but you must also provide valuable points. 

  • Representative — after hearing your pitch, the listener should have a solid idea of your personality and the company’s values. 

When to use an elevator pitch

As a rule of thumb, you can use an elevator pitch any time you approach a prospect in person or digitally and have limited time or space to make a point. Some common situations where elevator pitches shine are: 

  • Networking events and career fairs these events encourage professional connections, so pitches are par for the course. And since attendees meet many potential clients or collaborators in a short amount of time, the elevator pitch structure is perfect for making the most out of quick chats.

  • Online and on social media present your offering clearly and concisely on your home page and professional social media profiles, like your LinkedIn or Instagram for Business accounts. Viewers can then read through the rest of the more detailed information in these spaces to gain a complete picture of your vision, products, and services. 

  • In marketing and sales emails whether cold-emailing leads or sending along a business proposal, use the introductory paragraph of your message to briefly describe your brand, general offering, and custom solutions.

How to write an elevator pitch: 5 steps

To effectively self-promote, you must clearly understand your “Why?” Then you can translate that vision into terms the listener values. 

Here’s a guide to follow when drafting your best elevator pitch:

  1. Start strong — introduce yourself by name and role. If in person or via email, let the receiver know how happy you are to meet them. 

  2. Describe the problem — explain the client needs your business fulfills. Provide a quick example to ground the listener or reader.

  3. Describe the solution — tell your audience why you’re the person for the job. Describe how you or your company solves the problem you mentioned. You should tailor this part of your speech to your audience by citing a personalized solution.

  4. Explain why you stand out — share relevant metrics, a success story, or a few lines on what makes your value proposition different from others in the industry. Highlight the service or feature you offer that no one else does. 

  5. Close with next steps — if you’re writing an email or blurb for your website or social media, encourage your audience to reach out, including a link where possible. And if you’re meeting with a prospect in person, hand them your business card or exchange contact information. Let the prospect know you’ll be in touch soon to schedule a meeting, review a project proposal, or take another valuable next step. 

3 good elevator pitch examples

You’re clear on the essential parts of an elevator pitch and why they’re important, and you’re about to put pen to paper. Here are three mock elevator pitch examples to help you start.

1. Graphic designer 

“My name is Mina, and I graduated with a degree in graphic design from Parsons. Since then, I’ve worked for startups creating brand guidelines. Many startups aren’t sure how to distill their vision into a consistent image, and I help them determine the look, feel, and voice of their marketing and communications. 

Last year, I won a national design award for the branding I created for a health-tracker app startup. I’d be happy to talk more about what my services can do for your company and how I work when you have a minute.”

2. Business coach 

“I’m John, a business coach who helps entrepreneurs incubate ideas and established companies improve team-wide communication. I’ve been coaching for 20 years and worked with over 100 clients, and I’ve found that 95% of businesses see a boost in productivity and sales after improving their communication.

What I enjoy about my work is that every case is different, and I approach this challenge with a proprietary method that helps clients discover their inner motivations and goals. 

I recently published a best-selling book on this method. And I’d love to chat more about how I could help your company boost sales by improving communication.”

3. Wedding planner 

“My name is Tessa, and I don’t consider myself a wedding planner so much as a wedding solver. I started my business after learning how stressful weddings are from personal experience, and I found my passion in taking planning work off the shoulders of couples that deserve to enjoy this experience worry-free. 

My team and I take care of details before couples even have to ask. And I’m proud to have received write-ups in several wedding magazines about how my services stand out. Shoot me an email, and I’ll send over a deck and some pricing information. I’d love to work with you.”

Elevator pitch best practices

Polish your pitch with the following set of best practices, because even the strongest pitches need some finesse when it comes to proper delivery and execution:

  • Customize your delivery a verbal elevator pitch at a networking event sounds different from one posted on your website. For online pitches, you may want to hook readers with a surprising industry fact or a question, but in-person pitches require a more natural, conversational approach. 

  • Be as natural as possible use simple but persuasive language and, when meeting a prospect in person, your normal voice. Speak slowly and clearly, and don’t stick to the script so closely that you’re robotically rattling off memorized information. 

  • Practice if you plan to use your pitch in person, practice in front of a mirror, and time yourself to ensure you stay under a minute. Cut out non-essential information if your pitch takes too long to say without rushing. Remember that this is a conversation opener, so you’ll have time to discuss details later.

Use Notion’s templates to write a stronger pitch

If Notion had to give an elevator pitch, we’d include how our passion is helping businesses succeed by giving them all the tools they need. And one of those tools is our template gallery

Explore our elevator pitch templates, like our guide to making a pitch deck, AI pitch generator, and content incubator. Or search the template gallery for something that perfectly suits your needs.

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