Elevator pitches and how to deliver one

Whether you know a little about elevator pitches or have never heard of them, now is the ideal time to learn the power of the elevator pitch and how to deliver one to maximum effect.  Here we’ll show you what makes an elevator pitch successful and how to go about crafting one. 

Sharing your elevator pitch with others could help boost your career. Delivering it effectively could make a powerful  impact in future job interviews, and give you confidence in business settings.

What is an elevator pitch?

In short, an elevator pitch is a very short summary of a person (you), a company, or a product/idea. It is presented in a brief period of time, but it’s interesting enough to spark the listener’s interest.

An example of an elevator pitch is a 30- or 60-second radio commercial – it presents you in your best light, highlighting your positive points – its name comes from the idea of pitching something effectively during an elevator ride.

When creating an elevator pitch, you are selling yourself to whoever the audience is at that moment, so you can change the points you select to summarize only your most  relevant accomplishments.

An elevator "Up" sign being pressed.
Going up. Getting your pitch right could help you move up in your career.

When to use an elevator pitch

You can use your elevator pitch in various scenarios. One obvious reason to use it is when you introduce yourself to someone in the same profession, in the hope of landing a new position, or when introducing yourself to a colleague after starting a new job.

Lastly, you may find it beneficial to use your elevator pitch to expand your network of contacts when attending conferences, workshops, or seminars. You never know where a connection may lead in the future.

Components of an elevator pitch

There are only a few components to an elevator pitch — your skills (or accomplishments) and your goals. If you can focus on these two areas and keep it brief, you’re surely on the right track to delivering an elevator pitch. Now, you just need to know how to create a compelling elevator pitch.

How to create a compelling elevator pitch

There are two parts to an effective pitch — the content and the delivery. Both contain key aspects you need to be aware of to get maximum results.

A woman in an elevator points to items on a document to an impressed businessman.
Pitch it! The best big ideas can be expressed briefly.


The content needs to be brief. So, if you have a long history of accomplishments or have developed numerous skills over the years, you will need to scale things back. It’s crucial to make the content concise. Keep in mind that you can have more than one elevator pitch for different situations or people you might encounter. For example, if you have skills and experience in marketing and management, use the ones most applicable to the person in front of you, or you could use a small part of your material from each category.

On the other hand, if you don’t have much (or any) experience, you may need to pull from your education, internships, side jobs, or other areas to compellingly present your pitch.


Your pitch delivery involves a verbal presentation. Remember to be brief, positive, and enthusiastic. This is your time to grab the listener’s attention and impress them with what you have to offer. It’s OK to brag a little, but be careful not to annoy the other person. Keep a friendly, confident demeanor – don’t stare at the ground or frown when pitching yourself. 

Maintain your posture, make eye contact, and speak with conviction.

Tips for delivering an elevator pitch

You’ll want your pitch to hit the mark, so put forth your best effort. The following tips will help you in that respect:

  • Practice in advance. Take time to practice what you’re going to say in front of the mirror. Even if it feels awkward, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing right and what you might need to improve.
  • Talk about your abilities. Let the listener know what you can do. Even if you haven’t worked in a paid job doing a particular task, you can elaborate on the skills you have.
  • Don’t waste your time on unimportant things. There is only so much time you can spend on your elevator pitch. That means every word counts. Don’t waste any of it on things the person you’re talking to might perceive as negative or irrelevant.
  • Target the pitch to the audience. Every person you use an elevator pitch on is different and might offer a slightly different opportunity. Be sure your pitch reflects that.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Only talk for a maximum of 60 seconds. If you can say everything you need to in 30 seconds or less, that’s better yet. A sure way to lose the listener is by talking too much.
  • Talk slowly and clearly. Even though you want to be brief, you don’t want to talk so fast that you sound nervous, or the person can’t understand all that you’re saying. Slow down and relax.
  • Be positive. Don’t say anything negative about yourself or anyone else. Keep everything upbeat. Also, keep a pleasant look on your face.

Pencils and Post-It Notes on bright yellow paper. One Post-It note has the words: "Elevator Pitch" written across it.
Put it on a Post-it, practice and pitch it!

Elevator pitch examples

These four pitch examples will give you an idea of how to create your own:

I’m Rachel, and I recently opened my own physical therapy practice after working in the field for ten years. If you know anyone who needs a physical therapist, send them my way!

I recently graduated from college with a degree in computer science. I worked in the computer lab at the college, handling all their software and hardware installations. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking for a job that will challenge my skills.

I write digital content for websites and brands. I’ve had a passion for writing since I was young and enjoy using my ability to help businesses stand out on the web.

My name is Brad, and I operate a heating and cooling company. It’s a family-run business, and our goal is to give customers a quality product with a family-friendly touch. We feel personalized customer service is an important part of good business.