5 Steps to the Perfect Elevator Pitch-How to Make a Great First Impression

5 Steps to the Perfect Elevator Pitch

By April 8, 2016elevator pitch

What is the most common question you’re asked when you meet someone new, Is it: A)  How did you become so amazing? B)  Can I draw on your hat? C)  What do you do? Is designing your elevator pitch scary to you? Have you done it, yet? If not, rest assured! I’m here for you! let me take you through the steps. Here are the 5 steps to the perfect elevator pitch in a nutshell:

  1. Think about the benefits for the customer not about what you do.
  2. Make sure your words are concise & active–no passive speech!
  3. Record yourself delivering your pitch.
  4. Listen to it & relentlessly make assessments.
  5. Practice alone & then with others.

If you don’t have time to read all the ins & outs of crafting your elevator pitch and just want to get to the “how to” scroll to the bottom for the infographic!

What is an Elevator Pitch?

When people refer to their elevator pitch they’re describing the message they convey which tells people who they are & what they do.

The reason it’s called an elevator pitch is because you are supposed to imagine you’re in an elevator with someone. And that person is one who you wouldn’t mind having a relationship with (work-wise or personal). What you would say to them if you’ve only got 30 seconds?

That’s why there are 3o second elevator pitches, 60 second pitches, you get it. There are different elevator pitches, too, depending on if you want that person to be your next client or if you think they look cool and you want to go have lunch.

But don’t get crazy thinking about all the elevator pitches you need to design. Just start with the most important ones for your life right now.

How to Stop UpSpeak

elevator pitch meeting for first time

You Need an Amazing Elevator Pitch

Firstly, you need to be able to describe your story so that it’s compelling to others. That people enjoy listening to. Secondly, you have to sell yourself to others when you speak. Making your elevator pitch compelling and persuasive is an easy way to do just that. Don’t think: “overly salesy car-salesman.” Think of you developing great relationships with others. Because that’s what it’s about:  Having strong, successful relationships with others.

Evolution of Speech

We humans have only recently begun to communicate in anxiety ridden situations. The communicativeelevator pitch bond james bond situations we find ourselves in just over the past few decades are unprecedented. Never before in history has the genpop been required to meet, impress, sell to this many people and in such anxiety-situations.  Think about it.

In the recent past young adults were provided with their spouse or had a very small pool from which to choose.

Our parents & grandparents had jobs they went to every day. They retired & lived in their communities with the same folks doing routine things. (I speak generally here–of course there are exceptions.) This resulted in fewer situations where they had to prove themselves in unfamiliar situations.

But now! Now we’re required to prove ourselves at every turn. We need to come up with new solutions at work, speak up in meetings, give presentations, ask for a raise, ask to work from home, make small talk with countless unfamiliar individuals daily, obtain venture capital, the list goes on. Evolution works like this: Encounter problem–>determine how to solve problem–>adapt.

We’re in the determine solution phase.  Our brains, at the moment, still go into “fight or flight” during high stress communicative situations causing us to not perform at our best. In the best interest of your future, that of your children & the future of humanity we need to learn to adapt.  Adapting requires re-training the brain.

Elevator Pitch Design

    1.  Think about the benefits for the customer.  Don’t talk about what you do but about what the customer gets.  Turn, “I’m an accountant”  into “I keep Uncle Sam’s fingers out of my clients wallets.” This results in a more impressive elevator pitch.
    2.  Check your wording.  Make sure your words are concise & active. No passiveness. Don’t start with “well”, “um”, “actually” or “just.” These words don’t belong anywhere let alone your elevator pitch. I do this with my first-time clients.  Role-playing, I ask them, “what do you do?” and they almost invariably start with an undermining passive word. Don’t do this! This makes it easier for people to really understand your message.
    3.  Record yourself and relentlessly assess yourself:  Are you going down at the end of your sentences resulting in a strong, confident sound?  Does your voice sound warm, credible & authoritative?  Is your wording strong & efficient?  If not, make it so. It really helps to hear your own voice and how you speak. If you’re avoiding recording yourself then you definitely need to do it!

How to Not Be Nervous Before a Presentation

Practice Your Elevator Pitch

elevator pitch

    1. When you’re happy with the wording practice with your recorder multiple times.  Then practice it with everyone you meet. Consequently, when the pressure’s on you’ll have it mastered!
    2.  Make warm eye-contact and smile.  You got this!


As you can see, crafting your elevator pitch isn’t a challenging task, but it does require some determination on you part. 3 or 4 tries on your own and it should be sounding really great. Then practice selling yourself to others. There too you’ll notice that you just keep getting better.

Do you get the James Bond references? He always made a strong first impression, no? Let me know what you think about your elevator pitch & James Bond by commenting!

Olsen. Ita Olsen.

Want help? Contact us! We’ll get you there in no-time flat!

This is a revised version of an article found here.


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