Long Story Short:

  • As networking events continue to ramp up, having and executing a successful elevator pitch can be the key to standing out.
  • When done right, your target audience (potential employeers, investors, or business partners) should exit the conversaton knowing everything they need to know about you, your company, or your product.
  • When done wrong…don’t do it wrong. Follow our tips to construct a compelling elevator pitch that enhances awareness of you or your organization, builds your brand, and positions you to land the startup job of your dreams!

While some believe that elevator pitches are only needed for salespeople, a strong elevator pitch can be helpful for job seekers, entry-level workers and top executives.

Whether you’re a startup founder, an entrepreneur, or a job seeker heading to a networking event, executing a well-composed elevator pitch is imperative for your success. Effectively—yet concisely—delivering a synopsis of who you are or what your innovative and creative idea entails can help you better connect and engage with your target audience. Here’s why practicing and perfecting your elevator pitch is a valuable use of your time.

But first, what is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a speech that clearly and succinctly informs listeners about you, your organization, its purpose, and its reason for being. True to its name, an ideal elevator pitch should be no longer than a 15-to-20-second elevator ride. The trick is to make this speech as unique—or even as memorable—as possible. 

Who can use an elevator pitch?

While some believe that elevator pitches are only needed for salespeople, a strong elevator pitch can be helpful for job seekers, entry-level workers, and top executives. Founders can leverage their elevator pitches when securing funding from investors or recruiting high-impact resources to join their company. Every day workers can increase their organization’s brand during networking events by informing others about their company’s purpose and overall value. And job seekers can make themselves stand out to potential employers by wowing them with a brief list of their skills and accomplishments.  

How can I compose a great elevator pitch?

Looking to piece together an exceptional elevator pitch that will resonate with clients? Remember the four Ps.

Be persuasive

It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching the services your company delivers, the products that it sells, or yourself: your goal should be to deliver a lively and dynamic speech that captivates your listener. Studies show that the success of your elevator pitch largely depends on the opening line of your speech. Try to structure your spiel so that it leaves your audience yearning to learn more. A captivating and persuasive opening line will always improve your odds of success.

Be passionate

No one wants to talk to a monotone speaker. If you’re someone who delivers a dull or humdrum elevator pitch, chances are that your listener will tune you out and disregard everything that you’re saying. Be passionate about whatever you’re talking about. Add some vibrancy, energy, and emotion into your voice. Speak with conviction. You can even use some subtle hand gestures and movements to maintain engagement with your audience.

Be pithy

Humans have incredibly short attention spans. According to a study conducted by the Technical University of Denmark, our collective global attention span is between eight and 12 seconds. That’s it! It’s incredibly important to make sure that your elevator pitch doesn’t turn into a long-drawn-out spiel. Keep your speech concise and to the point to achieve optimal results.


Like all other things in life, practice makes perfect. To nail down your elevator pitch, be sure to rehearse it out loud before an event or a client meeting. Practicing aloud will help you get your speed and pitch down pat while avoiding talking too fast or sounding awkward with your wording. If you frequently repeat your elevator pitch on a consistent basis, you’ll enhance your odds of success when it comes time to deliver it!

Where can a great elevator pitch take you?

Whether you’re a startup founder, a sales professional, or a job seeker, mastering your elevator pitch is important when interacting with outside audiences. Your ability to explain what makes you or your company unique within a limited timeframe can make or break your success. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of my favorite 43North Finals pitches.

Ready to test your elevator pitch? Check out the Forge Buffalo community calendar to stay updated on upcoming networking events. Thinking it’s time to get started with a startup? Create your free account and upload a resume so companies on Forge Buffalo can find you! Looking for more ways to stay connected? Sign up for Forge Buffalo’s email newsletter and follow Forge Buffalo on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn!