Q: What is an Elevator Pitch?
A: According to Investopedia, an Elevator Pitch is “a slang term used to describe a brief speech that outlines an idea for a product, service or project. The name comes from the notion that the speech should be delivered in the short time period of an elevator ride, usually 20-60 seconds.
In the financial world, the speech refers to an entrepreneur’s attempt to convince a venture capitalist that a business idea is worth investing in.”
Q: How important is it?
A: Crucial! In fact, multiple institutions of higher education, such as Duke, MIT, and Yale hold Elevator Pitch Competitions to offer entrepreneurs opportunities to gain experience in pitching, receive constructive criticism, and possibly receive some funding.
Harvard Business School even provides its alumni with an Elevator Pitch Builder on their career development page (luckily, you do not have to be a HBS alumnus for you to use it).
Q: Alright, where do I start?
A: First, read the article “Is Your Introduction Ready?” from Entrepreneur.com to learn the 6 steps in building the perfect pitch.
Once you’re done, keep in mind the don’ts in elevator pitches with “Five Worst Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching Angel Investors,” also from Entrepreneur.com, and start brainstorming (if you’re seeking guidance, check out the HBS Elevator Pitch Builder).
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the Elevator Pitch Channel on YouTube for examples!