July 15, 2014

The Elevator Pitch – The Art of Convincing within Minutes

It may happen that you run unexpectedly into one of the leading characters of your company. A situation like this would be the perfect chance to present one of your new innovative ideas which has been running through your head all that time. But, as always, time is running and you can only introduce yourself shortly and exchange some business courtesies. For not to waste any such opportunity, take some time and have a look at our following article which will prepare you for such a situation.

History of the Elevator Pitch

The Elevator Pitch was invented in the 1980s when young and creative entrepreneurs tried to find a way to get in touch with the company’s management personnel to present their pioneering ideas. During the years that followed, this technique became an established method to raise one’s interest in a concise way. People were waiting in front of elevators for the management personnel to arrive and then used the short time in the elevator to pitch their ideas and present them convincingly. The main purpose was to be as authentic as possible and to deliver an unforgettable performance. Ideally, someone would get an invitation to a subsequent interview and get the opportunity to illustrate ideas further.

The Right Time to Benefit from an Elevator Pitch

Today Elevator Pitches are not that common and popular anymore but situations will occur when you have to convince within a few minutes or even seconds. That may be at

–          Conventions

–          Social gatherings (i.e. after work parties)

–          Important telephone calls

–          Unplanned encounters

–          Workshops

These situations can be key moments that decide over success and failure. We have listed some details that you should consider.



A Superb Elevator Pitch

An excellent pitch needs some good preparation. Invest much time to find the right wording and use the following questions as a guideline:

–          Who do you want to address

–          What do want to achieve?

–          What will be the convincing argument?

–          What will be the environment like?

Reduce your pitch to one main thesis and summarize in only few words the foundation of your concept. Stick to the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) model which illustrates a four-step approach to make a sales pitch as appealing as possible.


  1. Attention: Choose a concise and exceptional opening to raise interest. Appeal to your listener’s pathos and use symbolic language and metaphors.
  2. Interest: Emphasize your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What are your powerful arguments? What makes it unique? Make your opponent interested in you.
  3. Desire: Benefit from the interest in you and raise a desire for you or your product
  4. Action: The previous steps were created to initiate action in your opponent. That may be an exchange of business cards or an invitation for an interview.


Elevator Pitches must be short and comprehensible for everyone. Do not use too many foreign words or technical vocabulary. Ask friends or acquaintances to evaluate your pitch. A good Elevator Pitch needs intensive preparation. It is your only chance to make an excellent first impression.


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