24 elevator pitch examples to get your networking groove on

Have you ever been at a networking event, a neighborhood barbecue, or even in an actual elevator and found yourself struggling to answer the question “What do you do?” If so, you need an elevator pitch.

A good elevator pitch is a go-to business tool for sales professionals. But, as you’ll see in the elevator pitch examples a little further down, you can benefit from having a solid elevator pitch up your sleeve no matter what industry you work in.

Additionally, your pitch can go beyond face-to-face conversations. It’s great for online interactions, too.

A strong elevator pitch makes a great introduction snippet for LinkedIn connections and online job boards. You can use it on job applications. A good pitch even works in cold emails.

This article clarifies what an elevator pitch is, when to use it, and how to craft your own winning pitch. And it all wraps up with a mega list of elevator pitch examples to get you started.

What is an elevator pitch

We’ve all heard the term. But what exactly is an elevator pitch? And why is it such a must-have?

An elevator pitch is a short explanation of what you do professionally, the value you provide, and how you deliver that value. The most effective pitches are brief — usually less than 30 seconds, or roughly the time it takes to ride an elevator. Hence the name.

Your elevator pitch is a powerful tool because it gives you a way to quickly explain what you do and why it matters, without inconveniencing anyone or giving the impression you talk about yourself too much.

It’s like small talk on steroids. Fits easily into casual conversation but packs a mighty punch.

And, as we mentioned, a well-crafted elevator pitch works in almost any context — professional or casual. Once you’ve committed yours to memory, you’ll never have to mumble awkwardly through questions about what you do for work.

Which is good. Because you never know when a casual acquaintance might turn into your next employer, or client, or business partner.

What makes a good elevator pitch?

It might seem excessive to sit down and actually write out an elevator pitch. But your pitch has to do a lot of work, quickly. It must tell people what you do, show your expertise, and demonstrate the value of your work. And you must make this information relatable to someone who has no experience in your industry.

If you nail these ingredients, your elevator pitch will inspire people to continue the conversation or reach out to you for a second one, depending on the situation. If that happens, you know you’ve got a winner of a pitch.

But all of this is easier said than done. So your elevator pitch must be tightly constructed and well-thought-out.

Most people can’t produce a strong elevator pitch off the cuff. That’s why it’s a good idea to take some time to develop yours with five key attributes in mind.

A good elevator pitch gets attention

In some contexts, this is the hard part. But it’s slightly easier in your elevator pitch because somebody has asked you about what you do. You already have some degree of attention.

However, you should still frame your pitch in a way that’s relatable, interesting, and easy to understand. If you launch into an oral essay about the nitty-gritty details of your job, you’ll likely lose whatever interest you had.

Keep things simple. And feel free to think up fun, creative ways to explain what you do.

It clearly explains what you do

By now, this part is probably obvious. But this one is worth repeating because it often gets lost in trying to keep the elevator pitch short. It’s challenging to think up a concise way to explain what you do. People frequently end up with something that is short enough, but not very clear. Or they end up rambling on too long. Or they fill their elevator pitch with industry jargon.

Clearly and quickly explaining what you do might be harder than you expect. And it’s a good idea to run your elevator pitch by someone who isn’t in your industry, to make sure it completely and clearly explains what you do in language that anyone can understand.

It highlights your value proposition

Above and beyond explaining what you do, your pitch should also show what value your work delivers. It’s tough, but incredibly important. People will be much more interested in continuing the conversation if they understand why your work matters — what problems it solves and what solutions it offers. In other words: what’s in it for them?

In crafting your elevator pitch, keep this question in mind: “How does my work help the people I serve?”

It demonstrates your expertise

Just saying that you do something won’t persuade many people to follow up with you. You also have to show that you’re good at what you do. There are several ways to do this. You’ll see them in the examples below. But, as you find ways to demonstrate the value of what you do, you’ll often discover ways to demonstrate your expertise.

Just double-check that you’ve worked your expertise into your elevator pitch. It’s easy to leave this part out, even though you have the data to prove your skills.

And it does it all fast

Lastly, your elevator pitch has to be quick. Thirty seconds is the gold standard. If you can make your pitch shorter than 30 seconds, great. But you should definitely avoid talking for longer. Say what you need to say, then hand the mic to the other person.

Elevator pitch mistakes

Even if your elevator pitch seems to meet all the technical criteria, there are a handful of mistakes that can creep in undetected, if you don’t know to watch out for them. Here’s what to avoid when you write yours.

Making it too long

It’s easy to write an elevator pitch that looks short on paper but takes much longer to say out loud. According to radio experts (who know all about keeping it short), a pitch that comes in at under 80 words should take less than 30 seconds to say.

But practice speaking your own elevator pitch at a conversational pace to ensure that it is indeed less than 30 seconds.

Talking about yourself too much

This one is rather counterintuitive. Isn’t the whole point of an elevator pitch to answer questions about yourself?

Not quite. Your pitch is actually answering questions about your work and what you do. Yes, you’re part of that equation. But it’s not all about you.

If you find that your elevator pitch has a lot of first-person pronouns (I, me), rewrite it to shift the focus to your work instead. The best way to do that is to simply rephrase your sentence so that it describes your work, its value, or what it’s like to do your job.

If you find it impossible to write a sentence without a first-person pronoun, that’s okay. You’re talking about what you do, after all. Sometimes a first-person pronoun is necessary, but try to keep it to one or two. That way you won’t end up with a repetitive string of sentences that start with “I.”

Getting too technical

Not everyone knows the jargon you use in your work. In fact, most people probably don’t. Even seemingly common industry terms are often unknown to most people.

The bottom line is that you should avoid using industry-specific jargon. Replace it with more widely-used synonyms, even if those words might be slightly less precise. It’s more important to be understood than to be technically correct.

If you find there’s a technical term that you simply can’t avoid using, take the time to come up with a fast, simple definition for that term. This way, you can rattle it off quickly if someone asks what it means.

But believe it or not, even the most proprietary jargon usually has a simple synonym. You’ll be able to swap out a technical term for a simpler one almost every time.

Pitching at the wrong time

Even though an elevator pitch is a versatile tool, it’s not the right tool for every moment. If you deliver your pitch at the wrong time, it will fall flat no matter how good it is.

Your elevator pitch isn’t something to copy a paste into cold emails or recite as soon as someone picks up the phone. The basic rule of thumb is that you only deliver your pitch once somebody asks what you do for a living.

Otherwise, you’ll sound like an overzealous salesperson. And that sends people running for the door.

However, you can always make a video elevator pitch for your LinkedIn profile, your website, job boards, or anywhere else where it makes sense to deliver a quick snippet telling people what you do.

Having both a written and a video pitch gives you the ability to effectively deploy yours in any situation, be it face-to-face or online. Before you know it you’ll be an elevator pitch pro, ready to pull out just the right pitch for any occasion.

The ultimate list of elevator pitch examples

Now that you know what to do, here’s our mega-list of elevator pitch examples to show you exactly how to write a good one.

There are two versions of each elevator pitch example: one for those of you who are professionally interested in selling products or services, and one for professionals who do not work in sales.

There really is an elevator pitch for everyone.

To better illustrate each type of elevator pitch on our list, we rounded up examples from our very own Biteable crew (then sent in our team of writers to make those examples top-notch, of course).

But regardless of who you are or what you’re pitching, we guarantee there is an example on this list to fit your personal style.

Off we go, then.

Quick pitch

This is the classic elevator pitch. Say your piece, then drop the mic.

The sales pitch

“The founder of Biteable is a marketer by trade. And he found that one of the most difficult parts of marketing was creating videos. It took a ton of special skills and expensive, complicated software to create quality marketing videos. So he created Biteable. It’s a browser-based video editor that anyone can use to make amazing videos in less time than it takes to download a traditional video maker.”

Pitch for other professionals “I’m a user experience designer who makes software easy to use. The company I work for, Biteable, provides simple video making software. My work simplifies the part of the software that you, the user, sees. That way you get all the power of high-end video making software, without the complexity that makes traditional software difficult to learn and use.”

Just a question

This style of elevator pitch uses a question to get people engaged, then delivers the payload once you’ve drawn them in.

The sales pitch

“Have you ever put off making a quick video because you know that making a video is never quick, or because you didn’t want to pay for expensive software? Biteable was created to solve exactly that problem. It’s a browser-based video maker that anyone can learn to use in literally minutes, but that’s powerful enough to create videos that look like they were made by a professional.”

Pitch for other professionals

“Have you ever tried to make a video but didn’t have enough video clips to do it? I create animated video clips for a video making software called Biteable. Using Biteable, anyone can edit the clips I make and put them together to create their own content, even if they have no experience making videos from scratch.”

Leverage your credibility

Your work experience is one of the most valuable things you can include in your elevator pitch. But you have to put your experience in tangible terms, so people easily understand the value of that experience.

The sales pitch

“In my days working as a marketing consultant, I talked to hundreds — maybe thousands — of marketers. Easily 95% of them wanted to use video in their marketing, but didn’t have the resources to do it well. The Biteable video maker solves that problem by making it easy for marketers to create videos, even if they don’t have a camera or video production studio.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I’m a web developer for a video maker called Biteable. Biteable works in your browser. My responsibility is to write all the code that makes it work so seamlessly online. I’ve written millions of lines of code in my time at the company, and the payoff is that Biteable users are able to create videos in half the time it takes to make them with traditional software.”

Throw a curveball

This one is the elevator pitch equivalent of telling a story with a big twist at the end. It works because it draws people in with the promise of a punchline.

The sales pitch

“A lot of businesses want to use video in their marketing campaigns. But they don’t have any video production resources — a studio, cameras, all that — and they don’t have much video making expertise on their marketing teams. Seems like video marketing is out of reach, right? Not if they use Biteable. Biteable is a video maker that gives everyone the power to create amazing videos, without professional video production experience.”

Pitch for other professionals

“For decades, making digital videos required expensive software that took a long time to learn. Biteable, the company I work for, makes an online video maker that’s affordable and incredibly easy to use. My responsibility as part of the customer service team is to take care of users when they have any questions about Biteable. I make sure people have a smooth experience every time they create a video.”

Use data

Presenting data is a great way to build credibility. If you have some numbers that support your value proposition, that makes your claim much stronger, especially if the data is surprising. The other benefit of using data is that it’s often quick and easy to present, if you frame it right.

The sales pitch

“If you ask a video production company how long it takes to make a video, you’ll probably get an answer like six to eight weeks. That’s a long time. We ran some tests with the Biteable video maker, and we were able to create videos — complete with animations, text, and music — in less than 30 minutes. That’s a lot of time saved. But for businesses, that’s also money saved.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I’m a user data analyst for Biteable. Biteable is an online video maker. My job is to analyze data and help the development team make changes so the software is easier to use. We’ve actually gotten to the point where people can create complete videos in less than 30 minutes using the Biteable video maker.”

Let your clients help

Check out any good sales page and you’ll find customer testimonials. Testimonials are a proven direct marketing tactic. If you can fit a customer story or testimonial into your elevator pitch, it’ll make your pitch that much more effective.

The sales pitch

“The Biteable video maker is specifically designed to help anyone — marketers, HR professionals, and anyone else — make incredible videos without any special skills or software. One of our customers, a teacher named Dorthea, used Biteable to go from making one video for her class each semester to making an educational video for her students every week. That says more about Biteable than I ever could.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I’m the head of customer experience for a company called Biteable. Biteable is an online video maker. One of our customers, a teacher, was able to go from making a single educational video each semester to making an educational video every week. And she really enjoyed using the Biteable video maker. My job is to make sure every Biteable customer has that experience.”

Break the ice with something lighthearted

Joking or taking a lighthearted approach can be a great way to lead into your elevator pitch, especially if you’re in a sales position and you need to get into the pitch as quickly as possible.

Just be careful with delivering actual jokes. Not everyone is a comedian. If your joke falls flat, it can make things even more awkward than just giving a straight sales pitch.

If you’re not a comedian, no problem. Your lighthearted opening doesn’t have to be a side-splitter. Just start with a quick tidbit to lift the mood before you hop into your pitch.

The sales pitch

“How long does it take a marketing writer to make a marketing video? Less time than it takes them to write a sales pitch, if they use Biteable. The Biteable video maker is so simple that anyone, from the marketing writers to the customer support team, can make a marketing video in less than 30 minutes.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I’m the head of content for a company called Biteable. I don’t actually make any content, though. My team is amazing and does all the work. My job is just to put dates on the calendar and make sure everyone has something to do.”

Appeal to emotion

People like to believe they’re rational. But the reality is that humans use emotion to make the vast majority of their decisions. Therefore, appealing to emotion makes for a remarkably effective elevator pitch.

The sales pitch

“Believe it or not, I used to be an engineer. I thought my job was to add value to the world by creating new and better solutions. But I found that my engineering team was spending huge swaths of time creating presentations, rather than engineering new things. So I joined the Biteable marketing team to give as many busy professionals as possible the ability to make video presentations, without sacrificing valuable time spent on their core responsibilities.”

Pitch for other professionals “I was an engineer at one time. But I discovered that engineering teams were sacrificing huge blocks of time to create project presentations. So now I work as part of the Biteable marketing team. Biteable is a video maker that enables anyone to create amazing video presentations in minutes. My goal is to get the Biteable video maker into as many hands as possible, so people like engineers can spend more time on their core responsibilities.”

Draw on a mutual connection

This one only works if you and the other person actually have a mutual connection. If you use this style of elevator pitch, it’s wise to have a backup plan. That way you aren’t left improvising if you have no mutual connections to reference.

But a mutual connection elevator pitch can be a handy tool for networking events or conferences where many of the attendees know the same people.

The sales pitch

“You know James MacGregor, right? He’s actually a client of ours. He used Biteable to cut video production time in half at his ad agency. Not only is making advertising videos with Biteable faster, but more of James’s team can also help with video editing and production because Biteable is so easy to use. You’d likely see similar results if you adopted Biteable in your agency.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I work as a backend engineer for a company called Biteable. You’re a friend of James MacGregor, right? He’s a customer of ours. He uses Biteable at his ad agency to produce advertising videos much faster and more affordably than he could with traditional video editing software. My job is to make sure the Biteable video maker works every time one of James’s team needs it.”

Give (a little) advice

Giving some advice can go a long way toward getting that coveted second conversation. Offering advice demonstrates your expertise and implicitly shows why you can help. If your quick advice is useful to someone, they’ll likely wonder how much more you could help them.

The sales pitch

“You actually don’t need that much video marketing to get meaningful results. We’ve found that when small businesses produce just 10 percent more marketing videos, they pull in up to 30 percent more leads. That’s a great return on investment. Biteable can help you produce 10 percent more marketing videos using the same marketing budget and time that you’re already spending.”

Pitch for other professionals

“If you own a small business, and you create just 10 percent more marketing videos, you’ll get up to 30 percent more leads. A little video goes a long way. I do performance analysis for a company called Biteable. Biteable is a video maker that helps businesses produce 10 percent more marketing videos without any additional budget or employees. My job is to make sure Biteable helps companies get the results we know they can.”

A one-liner that works

One-liners are usually not a good idea. But a one-line elevator pitch can be effective because limiting yourself to a single line forces you to get to the point, without any fluff.

The sales pitch

“Biteable is a video maker that gives everyone the power to create beautiful videos in minutes, using nothing more than their internet browser.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I’m an infrastructure engineer for an online video maker called Biteable, whose job it is to make sure that the Biteable video maker works every time a customer opens it in their browser.”

Highlight the problem you solve

Every job exists to solve a problem. Every product exists to solve a problem. And solving that problem is the foundation of the value you provide. So highlighting it is a great way to demonstrate the value you deliver.

The sales pitch

“The main problem with video is that it’s been historically difficult and expensive to create. Most people and businesses rely on text and images simply because they don’t have the resources for video production. Biteable makes video production fast and affordable. Anyone can use it to create videos, right in their browser, without a single piece of video production equipment.”

Pitch for other professionals

“I’m in charge of performance optimization at Biteable. Biteable is a simple video maker that removes the time and money barriers of video production, so anyone can make great videos. My job is to measure and make sure that our video making software is doing its job: making video creation far easier, faster, and more affordable.”

Take your elevator pitch to the elevator (and everywhere else)

These elevator pitches cover just about the entire spectrum. But your pitch doesn’t have to be one of these. Feel free to get creative mixing and matching our examples to create an elevator pitch that’s completely your own.

But the most important thing to remember is that you should only deliver your elevator pitch when someone asks about what you do. Simply slinging it at the slightest sound of interest is worse than not slinging it at all. Your pitch is a powerful tool, but only when it’s the right tool for the job.

Once you’ve perfected your elevator pitch in person, use a pitch template and the Biteable video maker to create an elevator pitch video in minutes, and you’ll be ready to make your pitch to the digital world.

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