• Connector Street

Is Your Elevator Pitch Compelling or a Commercial Snooze-fest?

Updated: Mar 5

Anyone who has ever looked for a job, or sought out new clients knows the importance of the elevator pitch. It does the heavy lifting in the world of business and commerce.

Listen to the podcast version of this article:

You need a Short, yet Compelling Elevator Pitch

A good elevator pitch provides enough information about you and/or your business so that people will want to employ or engage you, all in about 30 seconds.

So, your pitch needs to be interesting, compelling, credible. It’s not easy. This video offers tips for creating an effective pitch:

Because the elevator pitch is so important to attracting new business (or employment), we should strive to make our pitch better, more effective, more compelling.

Once we’ve got it perfected, we stick with it, right? Ehh, not so much.

Just as there is no single elevator, there is no single elevator pitch.

How to Edit Your Elevator Pitch

If you use the same elevator pitch with everyone you meet, you won’t get the results you are looking for. Instead:

  • Don’t be tethered to the language that you started with.

  • Change up your words depending on who you are talking to.

  • Consider their background. What are they passionate about?

  • Talk about where your interests intersect.

What’s more, if you deliver the very same pitch every time, your delivery could become wooden. If you’re bored saying the same thing every time, your audience will be too.

How to Judge the Success of Your Elevator Pitch

Andrea Tinianow leading a networking workshop
Andrea Tinianow leading a networking workshop

Listen and watch how people respond when you deliver your pitch. Does your audience seem engaged and interested? Or, do they look away when you speak? How is the response?

Use this helpful feedback to tweak your pitch, and don’t ever stop tweaking.

But it doesn’t end there.

Ditch the Pitch

Sometimes you should consider ditching your elevator pitch altogether.

These are moments when a non-scripted conversation would work better. When I am speaking to someone at an event or on a Zoom call, and I hear the person launch into their elevator pitch, I find it hard to concentrate. My brain turns off. It’s like I’m watching a commercial on TV. I can hear the sound, but I can’t recall the message.

I much prefer if someone can speak directly about the work they do, why they like to spend their time that way, and what they offer their clients and customers.

Frankly, the candid approach is so refreshing, I often want to learn more. And I pepper my new friend with questions because I really am interested in what they have to say.

Isn’t that what we are really looking for anyway, to create a real connection with someone new, someone who might hire us, or buy from us or do business with us?

Then there are times when I pass up the opportunity to deliver an elevator pitch altogether.

Someone I’ve just met might ask me about myself, and instead of picking up the mantle to deliver my pitch, I simply say, “why don’t you tell me about yourself, I’ve been talking all day.” And then I sit back and listen.

Download the Free Networking App Now in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Andrea Tinianow is a Delaware attorney and founder of the Connector Street app. Andrea is a frequent speaker and Forbes author on a range of topics related to making connections, innovation, blockchain technology and the law. Watch Andrea’s TedX talk on The Power of Making Connections or connect with her on LinkedIn.