Communications Basics: The Elevator Pitch

Elevator pitches help establish trust

As a frequent workshop presenter,  I often meet entrepreneurs and owners of new businesses. At the beginning of workshops I invite participants to introduce themselves and their business with their elevator pitch. Elevator pitches are short, persuasive introductions to your enterprise.

Many people speak too quietly, hesitantly or without conviction, which leaves people in the back of the room wondering what they said or, worse, why they should even pay attention to the just introduced person. It is much better to speak boldly about your new businesses and how your services and products benefit potential customers. However, far too often, I find people don’t use their voices effectively nor do they take advantage of the opportunity to introduce their business to a roomful of new people.

As an entrepreneur, it is imperative that you learn to represent your business. Your ability to speak confidently and succinctly conveys knowledge and assurance. In turn, this nurtures trust. And trust, not money, is fundamentally the currency of a sale.

Inc blogger Geoffrey James has filmed a video with his advice about the three components of an elevator pitch.

  1. The Benefit–how your product helps your customer
  2. The Differentiator–this is the part where you explain why your product is superior, based on evidence, awards, market advantage or experience (for example.)
  3. The Ask–Request to meet or speak later.

Develop your elevator pitch by using James’ ‘explain it to a 12 year old’ method.

quotation-Marks.jpgImagine you’re a happy customer who just bought your product.

Smile.Imagine that a 12-year-old comes by and asks, “Why are you smiling?”

Explain why you’re happy in words that the 12-year-old will understand.”


You can improve by practicing your pitch and delivering it to the mirror, your family and your associates. You might even use your smart phone to capture yourself on video as you make your pitch. If you need improvement, you may find our public speaking tips helpful.

Watch the video How to Master the Elevator Pitch

Click tho view Geoffrey James How to Master the Elevator Pitch

Photo By: Richie Diesterheft

Confidence Topic for Women and Power Series Upcoming Event

I have confidence-Julie Andrews
Click the picture to watch a video and listen to the song.

I Have Confidence!

Do you remember the song from The Sound of Music—I Have Confidence? In the movie Julie Andrews portrays Maria who sings of her growing confidence in herself as she ventures off to be a governess to the von Trapp children. I’ve often sung this to myself (yes, I LOVE musicals—especially Rogers and Hammerstein ones.) And the lyrics from it are a perfect self-talk for anyone seeking a boost.

…What will this day be like?
I wonder.
What will my future be?
I wonder.
It could be so exciting,
To be out in the world,
To be free!
My heart should be wildly rejoicing.
Oh, what’s the matter with me?
I’ve always longed for adventure,
To do the things I’ve never dared.
Now here I’m facing adventure
Then why am I so scared?…

With each step I am more certain,
Everything will turn out fine.
I have confidence,
The world can all be mine!
They’ll have to agree
I have confidence in me…

Uncertainty is always present, and recognizing this truth goes a long way to accepting a bit of stage fright or hesitancy—join it with the awareness that you get nothing if you risk nothing –and you have the source of self-encouragement.

All this is to say that many women lack confidence in themselves, their abilities and power. Confidence will be the topic of an upcoming panel discussion presented by Charleston’s Center for Women in July.

I’ve been invited to be a panelist and look forward to sharing and participating on the panel with amazing women. Won’t you join us and learn together?

Register now and get your tickets.

Susan Boyle Gives Me Hope

Seeming as unlikely as singing star as anyone could be, Susan Boyle showed that judging someone based on appearance, manners and straightforward normalcy can leave you high and dry.

Her stunning performance, delivered with the deepest personal confidence, wowed Simon Cowell, fellow judges and the audience. Her triumph turned on my tear ducts and reminded me of dreams that I have.

Watching someone else triumph is the best elixir I can think of in these days.