The Perfect 30 Second Elevator Pitch Template for Businesses

The Perfect 30 Second Elevator Pitch Template for Businesses

Everything you need to know to craft the perfect 30 second elevator pitch for your business. You’ll learn how to avoid common mistakes and highlight how awesome you are!

The secret to any good pitch

As the corporate accelerator for Mitsubishi Fuso, we’ve seen more than our fair share of pitches. We know how important a focused 30 second elevator pitch is. Do you want to know the secret to getting people to take your product or solution seriously?

Clear communication. Explain how your product is relevant and how it solves your audience’s pain point, in a way that anyone can understand.

This is the genesis of an effective pitch.

Gaining interest in your product or idea depends on your ability to explain who you are, what you are offering, and why it matters.

Origins of the elevator pitch

There are many origin stories for the elevator pitch, and there are takeaways from each.

The term itself originates from the very first demonstration of an elevator with a safety brake. In 1852, Elisha Otis developed a locking system that secured a plunging elevator (they were pretty hazardous in the day!).

Unable to attract interest, he organized a dramatic demonstration in New York City. He stood in an elevator and had an assistant sever the hoisting ropes to show the effectiveness of the safety brakes.

Another story comes from the 1990s when a senior editor at Vanity Fair struggled to access his busy editor-in-chief. After failing to pin her down, he resorted to taking elevator rides with her for quick article pitches.

So, what are the key takeaways?

Use the time you have to be persuasive and impactful!

Here’s the reality. People generally lose concentration after about eight seconds.

At networking events, entrepreneurs encounter scores of people to whom they must introduce themselves.

During these encounters, they have few precious seconds to grab someone’s attention.

To that end, having the right approach is critical.

The 30 second elevator pitch template

Here is the structure of a basic pitch:

1. Introduce yourself

2. State the problem

3. Offer a solution by highlighting your unique approach

Hi, my name is (your name).

“My company is called “(company name),” and we’ve developed 1. (solution) for 2. (target customer) that 3. (solves a pain point) by 4. (unique approach).

1. The solution: a simple offering, usually in the form of a noun that anyone can understand.

 E.g. hardware, software, app, physical product, website

Tip: avoid vague words and stay away from specialized jargon. It is the fastest way to confuse and lose your audience.

2. Target customer: a clear vision of who the product/solution is aimed at.

E.g. HR departments with large manufacturers, quality-testing managers in automotive R&D departments, recently retired men, women between the ages of 45 to 55, etc.

Tip: be as specific as possible when stating your target customer.

3. Solves a pain point: a crisp explanation of what your product solves, which your audience can easily understand.

E.g. Reduces quality inspection time by 30%, identifies manufacturing flaws that most tests miss, facilitates training of new staff, etc.

Tip: this is the heart of the pitch and the best chance to hook interest. It should be as clear and impactful as possible.

4. Unique approach: this is the chance to show your special angle. This is the differentiator that sets your solution apart from the competition.

E.g. Utilizing machine learning to build a predictive model, by providing an auto-generated script of online video material, connecting you with a community of experts for live consultation, etc.

Tip: Your solution should sound unmatched and different. This is why it is special. Let them know!

Also, keep in mind that you should tailor your pitch for your audience. Your message will be different if you are pitching to a specialist versus a generalist. 

When pitching to specialists, you should add a higher level of detail while maintaining a clear and logical explanation. But for now, let’s focus on the basics.

30 second elevator pitch examples:

An average elevator pitch

My company is called Subscript and we’ve developed a service for researchers that allows them greater access to video resources by generating scripts of the audio content in several languages.

The critique: This pitch has all of the prerequisites, but the explanation is dull and lacks clarity. The target audience is also a bit general.

A better elevator pitch

My company is called Subscript, and we’ve developed a website that let’s university students easily reference audio info in video files by generating subtitles of the audio content and converting them into scripts in English and five other languages. 

The critique: This elevator pitch gets straight to the point. We understand the target audience, how it helps, and exactly what it does. Sold!

Once you’ve mastered a clear, short pitch, you’re ready to expand it with more details.

You can include information on your market, your competitors, and key differentiators. More poignantly, you can explain the current state of your product and what you are asking for from your audience.

Expanded elevator pitch template

“My company is called “(company name),” and we’ve developed 1. (solution) for 2. (target customer) that 3. (solves a pain point) by 4. (unique approach).

The market of 5. (your market) has a variety of similar services, like 6. (competitor) and (competitor), but our service/product is different because 7. (key difference).

We are looking for 8. (your request) in order to take the next step.

Here is an expanded pitch based on our previous example:

My company is called Subscript, and we’ve developed a website that let’s university students easily reference audio info in video files by generating subtitles of the audio content and converting them into scripts in English and five other languages. 

There are a variety of similar solutions for generating scripts of audio content like VidPlus and MP4 Words, but Subscript sets itself apart because it highlights words that cannot be generated due to poor audio quality in a video. Furthermore, in such instances, it uses AI to provide several suggestions in order to present complete sentences for the most accurate auto-generated scripts possible.

We are seeking an academic institution to subscribe to our service, which grants access to our platform to all its staff and students.

Pitching in the pro leagues

Developing a product and finding clients is a full-time endeavor that may not leave time for a day job. Be sure you are ready before plunging in.

Entrepreneurs at a more advanced stage who are ready to begin seeking funding, investments, or partnerships for their product or service will need to check off some boxes.

1. A prototype, proof of concept, or patent for an idea that is backed-up with solid market research.

2. A feasible financial model that is scalable and revenue-generating within a defined timeframe (the sooner the better).

3. An incorporated company.

4. A solid presentation specifically geared toward your hosts and demonstrates how your product/solution applies to their business.

Making your presentation resonate

When you are ready to pitch your solution to companies, the greatest challenge is to make your presentation resonate. You will need to demonstrate how your solution is going to help their business and provide a demonstration with a proof of concept.

Remember that your audience will be asking the following questions:

Does it solve their problem?

Is your solution better than that of your competitors?

Is it cost-effective?

How easily can it be implemented?

Avoiding pitfalls

While addressing the answers to these questions in your pitch, avoid the single greatest pitfall startup founders make. Many want to jump into the technical details too quickly and demonstrate their knowledge.

But your goal isn’t to provide a comprehensive overview, it’s to get people interested to the point where they want to meet you again for a second session with greater technical detail and relevant experts. Sell your concept first and show them how it works later.

To keep a presentation simple, use the elevator pitch basics to cut through the confusion. Keep it simple. Keep it straight.

Your pitch presentation should avoid excessive text and be easy on the eyes. Make the objective of each slide clear with a strong headline sentence and label each grouping of slides with easy-to-understand words like “solution,” “case study,” “problem,” etc.

Develop a presentation with storyline & flow, which includes a clear beginning and end, that highlights the pain point, shows the solution, and how it is relevant to your host’s market or business.

At the end of the day, your ability to provide an engaging pitch with a unique value proposition will largely determine your success.

Good luck!

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