There’s a framework for elevator pitches that will help you get to the point quickly while still clearly communicating key information to the listener:
For (customers) that have (a problem) we provide (a solution).
Here’s an example from Pana, a Techstars company:
For hiring managers that don’t want to spend time booking or reimbursing travel, Pana is a chat-based travel concierge that allows candidates to book travel without the hassle of reimbursement or scheduling.
There are a few things we want you to notice from Pana’s pitch:
They use everyday language - no jargon.
It’s one sentence.
If you time how long it takes to read aloud, it’s roughly 10 seconds.
It’s your turn to write your elevator pitch. Use the prompts below to help you think through the key elements of the framework.
What have you learned about your ideal customer and how do they identify themselves?
What are 3-5 ways you might state who your customer is? Which one is best?
If you were to speak with a potential customer, what question might you ask them before your pitch?
What are your problem statements from the customer discovery work?
What are 3-5 ways you might refine the words you choose?
What’s your unique value among your competition?
What do other people say your solution is?
How might you talk about how you do what you do, as opposed to what you do.
Okay - now it’s your turn. Think back to our elevator scene: it’s just you and that impossible-to-reach prospect and it’s now or never. Use the prompts below to build your elevator pitch:
Now - use the elevator pitch framework to assemble your answers into one sentence in the space below.
And remember: For (customers) that have (a problem) we provide (a solution). This will be your Elevator Pitch 1.0.
How will you know if this elevator pitch is clear and exciting? You’re will have to try it often. Here are some guidelines for this exercise:
Find a neighbor, call a friend, or stop someone random on the street and ask them for two minutes of their time.
Read your elevator pitch aloud. Do NOT ask anyone to read this. This has to come from you.
Time yourself, or ask your listener to do it.
Be confident and read it.
Give your audience a second for your pitch to sink in.
Ask your listener some follow up questions and then take some notes. Be sure to thank them for their time. Don’t take the feedback personally, and realize that this is an opportunity to grow. Then, ask them the following:
Is your pitch more than 2-sentences?
How long did it take you to recite your pitch? More than 30 seconds?
Can they clearly identify the customer, their problem, and the solution?
What questions do they have for you?
Do they seem engaged? Excited?
Did anything of what you said confuse them?
Did you use clear, everyday language?