Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.
6 min. read
Updated January 4, 2024
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.”
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.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to create a convincing elevator pitch.
Aside from catching your audience’s interest, there are seven specific things you must address to be sure your audience understands your business.
Are you speaking too fast? Is there vital information missing? You probably wouldn’t know unless someone takes the time to review your pitch. Here’s how to approach getting feedback on your presentation.
You need to have a short and meaningful pitch. You also should be able to tailor your pitch to fit the expectations of different audiences. So, start by defining what should be in your pitch with more or less time.
If you’re presenting to investors or lenders, you’ll want a visual presentation to compliment your elevator pitch. Ideally, this deck should describe your business so well that it works without a verbal explanation.
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.
Aside from a well-developed elevator pitch here are nine other things to elevate your presentation and set yourself apart.
We’ve covered the basic sections you need to include in your pitch. But there are other things to consider covering to convince investors that your idea is worth their time and money.
Don’t want to bomb your pitch? Be sure to avoid these costly mistakes.
Not every investor will be won over by an impressive bottom line and high growth potential. Some care more about the mission or culture of the companies they’re investing in.
Even with the most thorough preparation you’re bound to have questions you simply don’t have a good answer for. Here’s what to do when you can’t quickly present a good answer.
You may have a killer pitch, a captivating pitch deck, and a well-written business plan to back it all up—but if your posture, hand motions, and eye contact aren’t hitting the mark you may fall short.
No one knows how to craft a compelling story better than the creatives at Pixar. While their focus is on animated features that pull the heartstrings—their methods can actually help you develop a more enticing pitch.
There are numerous roadblocks to small business funding—even more-so for women who must combat a legacy of underfunding due to the predispositions of many investors. Here’s what to prepare for.
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.
If you’re starting to network or rub shoulders with industry veterans there will likely be an opportunity to pitch your business. It’s not a formal setting and you need to fine-tune your pitch to fit the spontaneity.
Meetings over video calls are becoming the norm and that also applies to pitch meetings. While your overall pitch shouldn’t change that much, there are some nuances to doing things virtually that you should consider.
Resources and templates to help you successfully pitch your business idea.
Free investor pitch deck template
Visualize your business pitch and wow investors with this free pitch deck template.
Pitch deck example gallery
Check out our library of industry-specific business pitch examples to help inspire your own presentation.
Explore Pitch Decks
Business plan template
Back up your pitch with a detailed and investor-ready business plan. Get started with our fill-in-the-blank business plan template.