Nail Your Elevator Pitch

Successful professionals and business owners know how to toot their own horn – fast – to turn strangers into customers, investors or part of their network.

To learn from their best practices, remember that your audience is busy, so you have less than a minute to make meaningful connections, establish credibility and showcase your talent.

Use these self-promotion tips to refine your elevator pitch:

1. Show how you’re a solution:
In your first sentence, describe yourself as a solution to a problem faced by your clients, customers or business associates. Your audience always wants to know, “What’s in it for me?,” so tell your listener how you can help them.

2. Tell them a story:
People remember stories better than statistics because they help build a rapport and make you memorable. So tell a brief, interesting story to showcase why you rock. Keep the structure simple: Tell them about a problem, specifically what you did to solve it and the positive results.

3. Encourage dialogue:
End your elevator pitch with an open-ended question to encourage conversation, the ultimate goal of the elevator speech. Dialogue shows you care about the other person and helps you build relationships.

Once you create your elevator pitch, practice and continuously improve it to contribute to your career success.

What tips would you add to this list?

Lisa Goller
Lisa Goller is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of experience serving B2B, technology and retail companies. She helps businesses tell their story through irresistible content marketing and strategic communications. Learn more at

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Clapp, Christine. “The Elevator Speech.” Toastmasters, October 2011.
Harris, Dena. “Making Connections with the Personal Commercial.” The Toastmaster, July 2004.