Open House Recap: Creating the Perfect Elevator Pitch

On June 7th, we held the first ever Groundswell Open House — a conference-style, all-day event featuring talks from HR professionals, sales and marketing mentors and recruiters on topics for startups and job-seekers alike. Didn’t make it? No problem — all of this week, we’ll be sharing our notes on the talks that we went to.

Today we’ll be talking about how to craft the perfect elevator pitch, featuring advice from the Groundswell community. We’ll explain how you can best craft your elevator pitch to stand out to your audience or potential employer.

When presenting your elevator pitch, you’re also creating a first impression. First impressions are everything. For most encounters, it only takes about 30 seconds for someone to create a first impression.

So, what’s an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is the most minimal interpretation of a product or service or outlines the values of an organization or individual in as little as 25–30 seconds. The term elevator pitch comes from the reality that you may only have an elevator ride down to the next few floors to sell yourself and impact the decision of a potential investor or prospects.

Why is an elevator pitch important?

An elevator pitch is very important and having allows you to promote yourself and your business, during interviews or while networking. It gives you the opportunity to organize your thoughts, keep your audience engaged and show them what you are capable of.

Your elevator pitch should clearly explain what you do, how you do it and who you do it for. It should be straightforward and easy for an investor to understand. When creating your elevator pitch you should be able to answer these six essential questions confidently.

Does it grab attention immediately?(you have about 25–30 seconds to grab your audiences attention)

Is it memorable? (How will it stand out compared to the other elevator pitches your audience has heard?)

Is it interactive? (Will it encourage quality conversation?)

Is it scalable?(Are you able to tailor the conversation to your audience?)

Is it evocative? (Emotions are a persuasive tool, will it strike a chord with your audience?)

Does it leave your audience wanting to know more? ( Does it leave your audience intrigued?)

Here are some do’s and don’ts when creating and delivering your elevator pitch.


  1. Grab your audience’s attention and be confident and positive when speaking.
  2. Differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s OK to stand out!
  3. Be consistent and structure your presentation.
  4. Focus on how this may benefit your audience.
  5. Leave your audience intrigued and leave a card for a potential follow-up meeting.


  1. Hard sell. Be firm but passive. Hard selling may potentially discourage your audience from engaging with you in the future.
  2. Wing it. Make sure that you are well-prepared, it will increase your chances of selling your product or service.
  3. Oversell it. leave your audience with some sort of interest, don’t give away all the details.
  4. Go to in depth with your data. Keep it brief.

Tips from the community:

Ricky Buell, Logan Stark, Shannon Landin, Johnathen Warren
  1. Be Confident and well-prepared. “When you are confident investors are more likely to trust you and consider doing business with you.” — Johnathen Warren, CEO of Critical Frequency
  2. “Make it situational and know your audience and tailor the conversion and don’t go into too much detail but be sure to point out the benefits.” — Johnathen Warren ,CEO of Critical Frequency

4. “Create a connection and show how you can benefit them and how you can relate and create a common ground” — Ricky Buell, Independent Insurance Agent and Aflac

5. “Keep your pitch in simple terms. Don’t use technical language. Keep in mind the elevator is in a 5 story building and not a skyscraper” — Shannon Landin, Founder and CEO of Codecraft Works, LLC

7. “Clearly define your point (the core of your business). Make it personal. DO NOT stammer, speak clearly, concisely and slowly. No filler words . Engage in eye contact, body language and have an active conversation. Leave them with a call to action” — Logan Stark, Founder at Maiden App

A well crafted elevator pitch will be beneficial in many situations, so it’s important that you invest a lot of time rehearsing it before you actually present it to a potential investor. In most situations, you’ll get one chance at creating a good first impression, so make sure that you’re well prepared. Good Luck!


Shania Alincy

Shania Alincy is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Commercial Entrepreneurship at Florida State University. 


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