Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government

What Is an Elevator Speech (or Pitch) and Why Do I Need One?

“What do you do?” That question represents a golden opportunity for you to market yourself and your business to a potential client. In most cases you have just a few seconds – about as long as it takes for an elevator to travel from the lobby to the penthouse – to get your message across and engage your listener’s interest.  Your elevator speech should be between 30 seconds and two minutes long and you should be able to adapt it on the fly to the situation. 

If you’re fumbling for words when asked that question, you need to take the time to develop an elevator speech.  Be prepared to articulate what you do and most importantly, why a client would choose you over your competition.  Erica Choi of the SBA Syracuse District Office came up with the following questions that you should answer in your elevator speech. 

Elevator Speech Components- who, what, why 

•Who am I?

•What business/field/industry am I in?

•What group of people do I service? In what capacity do I serve?

•Why is my business/product or service better than the rest?

•What makes me different from the competition?

•What benefits do I offer my customers?