How to Create an Elevator Pitch

Four people taught me how to create elevator pitches. They’ll help you too.


Dilbert, by Scott Adams. Dilbert is sitting at a conference table talking with a salesman. Dilbert asks, “Can you explain what your product does?” (Italics are mine.) The salesman answers, “Our product was created by an experienced team of technologists to address the way content is surfaced.” Dilbert replies, “Next time just say ‘No’.”

To Dilbert I would add, “Can you explain what makes you different?”

In the first thirty seconds the customer doesn’t care who created your product, how it looks, what it costs, what your company’s history is, or how smart you are. They want you to “explain what your service or product does or what makes you different.” How will you make my life better?

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Hollywood script writers. The industry has what is called the “high concept”. When pitching their story idea to producers they have to say it in twenty-five words or less.


Hypnotic Writing, Joe Vitale. This hypnotherapist says that “Hypnosis is anything that holds your attention. Headlines will make or break your ads.” Quoting ad genius David Oglivy, “Five times more people will read your headlines than will read your whole ad.”


The Wizard of Ads, Roy H. Williams. He taught me something I hated in school – read poetry. He said you learn how to say much, with fewer words, in more entertaining ways. Don’t care for poetry? Read the comics and editorial cartoons. Study headlines. They do the same thing.