How to write an elevator pitch with examples

How to write an elevator pitch with examples
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Delivering an elevator pitch can be a great skill to harness. Once you’ve perfected it you can use it for pitching a new idea at work, promoting an online course or coaching business, refining your website copy, and even simply communicating with others.

It’s always useful to know how to get your point across as clearly and efficiently as possible. Whether you’re actually in an elevator with someone or communicating over other channels. Distilling your messaging down to what really matters can also help set you apart and connect with your audience.

If you’ve seen the classic film Working Girl (starring Melanie Griffith), you’ll remember the scene at the end where she has a short elevator ride to explain how she came up with ideas someone else is trying to take credit for. (If you haven’t, bookmark this page and stream it immediately. We’ll wait.)

In the movie, she wasn’t pitching her ideas, as they had already been accepted, but pleading her case and clearing her name. Nevertheless, this final scene illustrates what an elevator pitch is—and just how important getting your point across with limited time to spare can be.

Whether you are going on job interviews, pitching an idea within or outside of your company, socializing at a networking event, or even sliding into someone’s DMs (professionally, of course), we have the key to getting your message across in a clear, concise, and effective way. Read on for some tips and tricks for great elevator pitches.


What is an elevator pitch?

Historically, an elevator pitch referred to being prepared to pitch yourself or an idea to someone in a limited amount of time should the opportunity—for instance, a shared elevator ride—arise. This was usually true of catching a ride with a CEO or top executives within one’s company, as they would generally be too busy to catch a moment with otherwise.

So even if you don’t work in a traditional business setting or ever step foot in an elevator, course creators, coaches, and entrepreneurs can utilize this skill now more than ever. In this digital age of information overload, it can be increasingly hard to hold your audience’s attention. An elevator pitch can help you stand apart and get right to the heart of your business and/or intentions. Meanwhile, writing an elevator pitch can help you get clear about your messaging online, as well as in real life.

networking event

How long should an elevator pitch be?

An elevator pitch, also referred to as an elevator speech, should be done in a short time. As its name indicates, this means about the length of an elevator ride, generally about 30 to 90 seconds. A good elevator pitch will be succinct enough to keep your listener(s) interested, while also being thorough enough that they understand what it is you do and/or are wanting them to know or do.

delivering an elevator pitch

How to write an elevator pitch

The good news? Distilling yourself, your idea, or your business down to a 30 to 90-second spiel is an opportunity to get crystal clear about what matters to you. And to tap into your truth and core messages. The challenging news? There are many different elevator pitch templates and approaches and no one-size-fits-all formula, so it requires some careful consideration.

Whether you plan on pitching someone in real life or would like an exercise for clearly communicating your business goals, below are some helpful tips to consider.


Find your hook: Just as the content you create (or curate) serves a specific function, an elevator pitch does too. It can be educational, inspirational, and entertaining. Your hook will be something that is clever, compelling, and memorable, something that keeps your listeners engaged.

Be passionate: Whether writing or speaking, your audience will connect more if your words are something you can feel. If delivering as a speech, use body language and eye contact to convey your enthusiasm.

Be persuasive: Discern if there’s an opportunity to incorporate logos, which appeals to logic; pathos, which appeals to emotions; or ethos, which appeals to a culture or collective consciousness.

Be flexible: Tailor your pitch based on who you’re delivering it to.

Consider your CTA (call to action): Even if you’re not contemplating your elevator pitch to update your website copy, consider what action you want your listener(s) to take following your pitch, and work backward. For instance, your CTA can be as simple as “take my business card,” or some other way for you to stay in touch. Or it could be, approve and implement this idea, if you’re pitching a potential project.

Keep it short and sweet: Get to the point of what you’re trying to share quickly to help your listeners get there, too. Speak simply, so that your language is easy to follow and understand.

creator researching


Use jargon or complex language: Of course, you might incorporate some jargon if you’re tailoring your pitch to a specific audience. However, consider that a top executive might not understand the nuances of every single department within a company. Similarly, don’t assume that your listener knows exactly what you’re sharing.

Rely too heavily on statistics or data: Resist the urge to “prove”; this can be a symptom of a lack mentality. You only have so long to make a first impression, so remember to keep it simple and save the stats for a second meeting.

Memorize your pitch: While it’s good to be prepared, you also want to come across as sincere. If it feels like you’re over-rehearsed or reciting a script you’ve memorized, it will be harder for listeners to connect with you.

body language

Elevator pitch examples & ideas

Breaking your pitch into about three pillars, which we’ll explore in each of the examples below, can support your pitch and keep you on track. Furthermore, once you have an elevator pitch written, you can use it to refine your existing online messaging.

Elevator pitch for interview

When speaking to potential employers or even clients, it’s important to communicate three W’s:

  • Who: Who you are, including any relevant credentials  
  • What: What you do (or have done), including your expertise
  • Why: Why you do it, including intentions and/or goals that might be relevant

Elevator pitch about yourself

The same 3-W formula can be applied when networking and socializing. For instance, this template can be helpful for answering the dreaded “So what do you do?” question. The next time you find yourself forced to make small talk, consider:

  • Who: Who you are, including any relevant credentials  
  • What: wWhat you do (or have done), including your expertise
  • Why: Why you do it, including intentions and/or goals that might be relevant

Elevator pitch example for students

Similarly, students who want to continue their education or attend a career fair will include the same three pillars. They might simply consider rearranging the hierarchy to put their goals at the forefront:

  • Why: Why you are interested in a particular school, industry, or company, including intentions and/or goals
  • What: What you do (or have done), including your grades and educational experiences thus far
  • Who: Who you are, including any relevant credentials

Elevator pitch for business example

Pitching a business idea or entire business will follow a similar structure. It should highlight products or services, as well as the business’ mission and value proposition:

  • What: What your business is, including a unique selling proposition
  • Why: Why it exists, including mission statement, values, and value proposition
  • Who: Who the people you serve are

Elevator sales pitch example

The sales page is especially relevant to course creators, whether you’re talking about your course, promoting it, or even updating your landing page. Rather than a 3 W’s approach, you might consider covering:

  • Problem, obstacle, or challenge, including pain points
  • Proposed solution(s)
  • Additional benefits
tailor your pitch


Where does the name elevator pitch come from?

The phrase elevator pitch comes from being prepared to pitch yourself, or your ideas, in the amount of time a standard elevator ride can take. Usually, about 30 to 90 seconds if you’re lucky. It meant being prepared should the opportunity for a shared elevator ride arise and it was the only chance you had. This was usually true of catching a ride with a CEO or top executives within one’s company, as they would generally be too busy to catch a moment with otherwise.

But today it generally refers to simply being able to pitch yourself, your product, or your ideas, in a short amount of time. Most people are busy and have short attention spans. So whether you’re meeting with someone in person or just catching them for a few seconds while they scroll, you want to be succinct and efficient with whatever time and attention you’ve got. Usually, actual elevators aren’t involved, but they make for a good metaphor.

What’s the secret to a good elevator pitch?

A good elevator pitch will be succinct and informative enough to keep your audience interested. With the goal of them fully understanding you or your business in just about a minute or so. Any longer and you might lose their attention or they might stop listening. So make sure you’ve got only the important details in there and you provide them with a way to learn more if they want to. Additionally, some tips we cover in this article include: Find your hook. Be passionate, persuasive, and flexible. Consider your CTA (call to action). Keep it short and sweet. Don’t use jargon or complex language. Don’t rely too heavily on statistics or data.

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Katie Davidson

Katie Davidson, Katie is a freelance writer, copy coach, and certified yoga teacher currently based in California. Her work has been published on,,, and more. She has also been featured as a yoga expert on POPSUGAR Fitness. When she's not writing (or practicing her handstands), you can find her somewhere on a beach, cacao-chai latte in hand, with her beloved pup Toby.

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