Never Wing Your Elevator Pitch!

What is an elevator pitch?

It’s the quick, concise summary of what your company makes or does. The name elevator pitch or elevator speech, reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride.

Why do you need one?

You can only make a first impression once!  There are some who would rather just wing it and say what comes to mind.  They think that if it is rehearsed it will sound too mechanical and fake.  Think again!  If you truly have a passion for what you do, it will come across during the pitch.  If you wing it, you could stumble or forget to mention something.  Have you ever listened to someone say ‘hmmm’ quite a few times during a quick conversation?  The person listening loses interest quickly.

Having an elevator pitch prepared helps when sudden sales opportunities arise with a prospective client.  They may have been looking for your very service or product.  If you don’t present yourself properly and in a timely fashion, that possible sale may be lost.

An elevator pitch also helps you get your point across and hopefully grabs the person’s attention.  It should be well thought out and flexible so that you can use it whenever possible. Your pitch is an excellent way to start off a conversation at a networking event or seminar.

As an entrepreneur you want to use your time wisely.  One of the best ways is to make sure your pitch answers who, what, where, when, why and how.

Think of your elevator pitch as a communication tool.

  • You have approximately thirty seconds to two minutes
  • Less is better
  • Rehearse it
  • Grab your listener’s attention by offering something at no risk (i.e.,  let’s get together and I can give you a few tips on…)
  • Keep the wording simple
  • Watch your listener’s expression and body language
  • Make sure you make eye contact
  • Shake hands with conviction
  • Make a goal during the pitch to establish a connection

An elevator pitch is often used by entrepreneurs to sell an idea or when applying for funding.  It can be in a written or video format.  Check out these tips from the MaRS Discovery District.

Now is the time to write your elevator pitch.  Then spend time lots of time practising it.  You can only make a first impression once!

Do you have your own 30-second elevator speech? Share it here! At the end of the month we’ll submit all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for an upcoming seminar (Value $25).

For more information about any of Halton’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866),, or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.

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