Business Planning

How to Pitch an Idea

What is an elevator pitch?

Imagine you just got into an elevator with a potential investor, someone who you can convince to invest in your business, and you have less than 60 seconds to explain your business idea and what makes it special. Are you ready to seize this opportunity?

An elevator pitch is just that, a persuasive speech that you use to create interest in a project, idea, or product. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name. Learn How to Write an Elevator Pitch

How do I pitch my business idea?

  1. Smile at the person you’re talking to

  2. Introduce yourself and shake hands, if you have not met them before and it feels appropriate

  3. Open with a statement or question that grabs attention

    • Start with a statement that shows them you have done your research and you know who they are

  4. Deliver your elevator pitch or investor pitch

  5. Tell them about your “call to action” and make sure it is VERY clear - what do you need from this person?

    • Ask for an appointment for a business presentation after your elevator speech

    • Ask for a business card

    • Ask for a referral

  6. Wait for a response

    • If it’s negative, thank them for listening and for their time. You can try to offer your business card “in case they change their mind later on”

    • If it’s positive (yes), say thank you and discuss what actions to take

  7. Shake hands after and walk away confidently

Why is pitching your business idea important?

60 seconds that can change your life - that’s why. There is no way of knowing what interaction, whether it’s in a grocery store or in an elevator, will present an opportunity to sell someone on your business or business idea. Plus, with a well-practiced elevator pitch, you will be able present yourself as more confident and self-assured, making others more willing trust you and perhaps even consider investing in your business.

Pro Tip

Make sure that you're aware of your body language as you talk, which conveys just as much information to the listener as your words do. Practice in front of a mirror or, better yet, in front of colleagues until the pitch feels natural.