It used to be called an elevator pitch.

Back when we rode elevators (that was so 2019)

That short conversation that explains an idea, product, business or person in such a clear and clever way that your audience immediately understands. And gets excited about it.

That exchange that makes you sound knowledgeable, informed, interesting but doesn’t give too much away.

The really good answer to ‘So what is it that you do?’

For a long time, I made TV promos. Taking a film or series, often someone’s lifetime work, worth millions and millions of dollars, and distilling it into a 30 second spot to make an audience turn up and tune in. I teased them.

And I learnt some tricks to make that elevator pitch rise.

Think less pitch, more pithy.

The less words, the more better.

Work with broad brush strokes rather than itsy bitsy detail.

And use language that will include, rather than exclude (we’re saying goodbye to you techie terms and acronyms)

Of course, there’s not just one great way to make an elevator pitch.

It’s like a date!

There’s your opening line.

If that goes well, have another all prepared and ready to go.

It’s okay if the person you’re talking to isn’t interested. Perhaps they asked what you do just to be polite. BUT the thing is, if your elevator pitch is good enough, people will remember it. So that night at dinner when someone says they have all these extra millions to invest in a tech start up, they’ll be able to recall your chat and what you do.

So spend some time thinking about how to make it work for you.

Try it out.

Hop on that elevator.

Test with people who don’t know what you’re doing, people who do.

Family, friends, work colleagues.

Different ages, different demographics, different skill sets.

Get them to pitch it back to you and see what information they noticed and retained.


And get on another elevator to try again.

Of course, the other side of this coin is that you should always have a backup boring elevator pitch.

For those times you don’t want conversations to continue. You just want them to go away.

Say you work in banking. As an accountant. IT.

That should stop the conversation cold.

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