Vector of a bullhorn being used. Represents creating an elevator pitch that can be used to pitch your business idea to investors.

How to Create a Captivating Elevator Pitch

For startups and entrepreneurs, a great elevator pitch is a must. It’s the key to sparking interest in your company, raising money from investors, and networking with business partners. It’s also a handy tool to answer the question, “so what does your company do?”

To help you build the perfect elevator pitch, we’ve brought together all of the resources you need. From a guide on what to include and a free pitch deck template to advice on how to use body language to make your speech more impactful. Read on to discover what your elevator pitch should include and how to take a pitch from “good” to “great.”

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is usually a short, impactful speech, but it can also be delivered as a presentation or “pitch deck.” Your pitch tells your audience what your business does, who your customers are, and summarizes your key accomplishments. The goal of an elevator pitch is to intrigue the listener, inviting further conversation or inspiring them to take action. 

There are situations where a more extended version of your pitch is appropriate. This longer presentation, sometimes called a “pitch presentation,” typically lasts between 5 to 20 minutes. This extra time allows you to delve deeper into your ideas, products, or services—providing more detailed information while maintaining a clear, concise, and persuasive tone. 

This format is often used in formal business situations like investor pitches, business plan presentations, or when addressing larger audiences at conferences or public speaking events. 

How to create an elevator pitch

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to create a convincing elevator pitch.

Create a pitch deck that works without your elevator pitch

If you’re presenting to investors or lenders, you’ll want a visual presentation to compliment your elevator pitch. Ideally, this pitch deck should describe your business so well that it can work without a verbal explanation. 

Check out the pitch deck guide

Back up your pitch with a business plan

Before you start pitching, you need to have a business plan. If investors or lenders like what you’re saying, they’ll expect you to share a plan that goes into greater detail and backs up what you’re saying.

Check out the business planning hub

Tips to nail your pitch and impress investors

There are many factors that go into creating a good elevator pitch. Whether it’s improving your poise, ability to tell a story, or simply answering investor questions—we have several guides to help strengthen these specific skills.

Alternative ways to pitch your business

You’re not always going to be pitching in a formal or traditional setting. It’s important to understand the different types of pitches you may have to give including virtual, written, and spontaneously in social settings.

Elevator pitch and pitch deck resources

Resources and templates to help you successfully pitch your business idea.

Elevator pitch FAQ

Traditional elevator pitches are ideally between 30 to 60 seconds in length, matching the average elevator ride's duration. However, in formal business settings, a longer pitch presentation of 5 to 10+ minutes might be more suitable.

A good elevator pitch is clear, concise, and compelling. It succinctly communicates your value proposition, sparks interest, and invites further conversation. It should be tailored to the audience and the context, and leave a memorable impression.

In an elevator pitch, you typically introduce yourself or your organization, describe what you do or offer, and express how it adds value or solves a problem. It's also essential to communicate what sets you apart from the competition.

An elevator pitch should avoid unnecessary jargon, confusing details, and overly technical language. It should not be self-centered, but rather focus on the listener's needs or interests. Lastly, it should not be a hard sell, but rather an invitation for further dialogue or discussion.