Constructing Your Elevator Pitch in 5 Steps

Rasheen Carbin

Constructing Your Elevator Pitch in 5 Steps

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the elevator pitch, so much so, that it's begun to intimidate people. Don't worry. You don't need to recite The Gettysburg Address.  It's just a short summary of who you are and what you do, not your complete résumé or everything that your company/product does.  It could be 30 seconds, but it should never go past 2 minutes. It's actually fairly easy to come up with one.  Here are 5 tips:

  • First off, and this may seem obvious, let the person know who you are and the name of your company. Often times people get nervous and forget to communicate this important information. Also, remember to smile. 
  • Don't use jargon or other technical speak. Consider your audience -  Are they in the same industry? How old are they? Are they from a place where you're references or analogies might not ring true? Don't leave the other person still wondering exactly what it is you do.
  • Don't let it get stale. Your career and your businesses change from time to time. So should your elevator pitch. Additionally you should always be refining it, trying to make it simpler, more concise, and clearer. Just as you update marketing materials, so too should you update your elevator pitch.
  • Just like any other pitch, there will be questions.  If the person asks one, pause and answer it. This is conversation, not a commencement address. Once you've answered their question, pick up where you left off. 

Thank them for conversation and ask for their card because you dominated the conversation and want to hear more about what they do. 

About the Author

Rasheen Carbin is Director of Business Development for MBA Project Search. a platform connecting MBAs with short-term assignments and internships. He has worked extensivley in sales/marketing, primarily in the financial services and advertising industries. He lives in Washington, D.C. You can reach him at