What’s Up with Your Elevator Pitch

 Make your introduction more memorable

When a networking group meets, every member takes a turn to introduce themselves with a 30-second to 60-second commercial about their business or service.

Each speaker stands and delivers the proverbial elevator pitch to entice the attendees with: a snappy summary of their profession, a target market and a benefit of working with the individual. Guests do the same.

Do you find it tedious when everyone around the networking circle says a version of name, profession and company?:

Good morning. My name is Irene Jones and I am a professional ice cream stylist at International Food Stylists.

Here’s why you should say goodbye to that repetitious format of name, rank and serial number.

Public speaking coaches say for the first 15 seconds of a keynote speaker’s remarks, the audience is poised in anticipation.

Attendees hungrily await the presenter’s words and their connection with the crowd.

With that in mind, the first part of an elevator pitch should be equally engaging.

Why waste those precious, high-attention seconds by deploying the same old formula?

This is especially true when attendees are subjected to 20 or more pitches volleyed in succession, like cannon fodder.

If you’re ready to make a switch, try my format.

First, I pause briefly, and start with a narrative or question. (The pause puts everyone’s eyes on me; the anecdote is a different opener than most.)

With the attendees’ attention is in high gear, I dazzle them with the benefit of the particular service I promote that day. I specify how I help an individual, business or corporation to SAVE TIME, SAVE MONEY or MAKE MORE MONEY.

Then, I state my name, Janet Falk, and profession, Public Relations and Marketing Communications. (I only add my company name, Falk Communications and Research, if there is at least 45 seconds. It’s not that essential.)

Up next is the call to action, for example: If being in the news will help you grow your business, let’s talk further. (Tell the audience what to do next.)

Finally, I repeat my name, plus my tagline or market focus.

It’s surprising how much you can say in 30 seconds, which is 75-84 words.

This narrative-focused approach has often been selected as Best Elevator Pitch of the Day.

Here’s how you can break the boring mold of My Name is, my profession is and my company is:

    • Many people don’t know a statistic that will startle your audience
    • What’s the opposite of twist something familiar
    • Have you ever heard of an obscure name, place or food

Then, you connect the dots to your business or service, plus the value of working with you (and your team).

Try this approach of narrative and benefit prior to reciting your name and profession.

Practice before you go to a networking event, so the new format will feel more comfortable.

Remember, you can reel off your elevator pitch almost anywhere. Before a session at an industry conference, speak to the person seated nearby. Chat with other attendees at a cocktail reception. You don’t need to be at a networking event to deliver your elevator pitch.

As an example of what the narrative approach sounds like, plus being prepared to speak spontaneously, click on the link below for a video recorded at a workshop for attorneys organized by Lawline, Ethically Improve Your Networking Skills, which I co-presented with Stephanie Rodin.

To set the scene, Rodin has just delivered her elevator pitch and explained its components to the audience. She turns to me and …  here is a two-minute video of my elevator pitch.

This Month’s Tip

Play to your audience. It’s helpful to have several versions of your elevator pitch that you can tailor when you are speaking to one person, a trio of workshop participants or a room of networking group members. Consider also whether the audience is from the same profession as yourself, are members of a target market or represent a random assortment of occupations. Adjust your remarks accordingly.


Ready to give your elevator pitch a lift? Contact me at 212.677.5770, set an appointment here or email me at Janet@JanetLFalk.com. We’ll brainstorm together to write an elevator pitch that zooms up to the C-suite.

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Photo Credit: Kayla Berenson