Previous month:
October 2007
Next month:
May 2008


If you met someone on an elevator and had the opportunity to promote your business in one minute or less, what would you say? Give it a try and time yourself.

Here are a few suggestions from Paul Jerde, Executive Director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Ken Morse, Managing Director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. These were shared on 12/18/07 at the MIT Enterprise Forum in Boulder, CO in response to each of four local companies offering an elevator pitch.

1.  Start with a question and add a personal experience. For example, you might begin, "How many of you have experienced the incredibly embarassing situation....?"

2.  Share third party validation of your brand promise. "Our first three customers are saying..."

3.  Realize the pitch is about the business solution you offer and NOT about technology or software. 

4.  Be clear on who is your decision maker.  How will what you are doing capture that buyer's attention? 

Now with these four suggestions in hand, revise and practice giving your elevator pitch again.  Practice, practice, and practice.  Give it to someone you don't know and then start talking about something else.  In ten minutes or more, come back to your elevator pitch.  Ask the person to tell you what they recall that your business does?  If your pitch is memorable, it is getting to where it needs to be.

Theresa M. Szczurek, [email protected]