What is an Elevator Pitch?


I was 41 years old when I first heard the term “elevator pitch” and learned what the meaning is. Forty one! Now in my defense, I was in the Army for 20 years and the college educated may have referred to it as “persuasive speech” and if I wanted something, I would submit a request. If you are a high school graduate, I hope that you see this. You are going to need to know what it is. You can start building and refining your elevator pitch now. As you grow, your pitch will grow with you. But first, you have to know what it is.

The original “elevator pitch” comes from the studio days of Hollywood, when a screenwriter would (supposedly) catch an unsuspecting executive on an elevator ride. There, with his prey trapped within the confines of the elevator, the screenwriter would ‘pitch’ an idea to the decision-maker, in 30, 60, or even 118 seconds. (Ref: http://bit.ly/2IidvbQ)

I use elevator pitches primarily in business when networking with others. I am accustomed to a 3 minute infomercial about who I am and how my business can benefit others. As a high school graduate, your pitch may be written to get into college. It may be for a job interview when the hiring manager says, “Tell me about yourself.” It could be when you meet your significant other’s parents for the first time. That first impression is critical and it can have a lasting effect on those whom you meet.

Check out these great videos about elevator pitches.