How to write and present an effective elevator pitch

  • Print

Sir Winston Churchill once said,

"I'm going to give a long speech today. I haven't had time to prepare a short one."

In order to make your business competitive in today’s fast paced business world,your elevator pitch has to grab a potential customer or investor’s attention and make them want to engage with your business in less than a minute.

As more often than not, we do not have a lot of time to sell our businesses to a potential client or investor by giving them a long winded speech.

We have to then ask ourselves; “How do you deliver a powerful elevator pitch?”

Here are a few tips that will make your elevator speech grab attention and generate business:

What is unique about you?

The single most important thing in your elevator pitch is most probably your ability to tell your customer or investor what differentiates you, what it is that makes you -stand out.

How short is short enough?

Short and sweet = powerful. When you force yourself into one sentence, it causes you to think about each word more carefully so that each one conveys more.

How do I structure the elevator pitch?

For an effective elevator pitch, your second word should always be a verb… What it is that you do? … What you can do for others?  By placing a verb early on in your elevator pitch you force yourself into thinking about your results and accomplishments.

It has to come naturally

Your elevator pitch must roll off your tongueas if you’re giving somebody your name and address. This will support a confident appearance when you say it, and confidence in yourself is a BIG draw card to clients and investors.


It is hard not to love people who smile. It communicates warmth and confidence. You come across as engaging and people would like to know more about you or what you’re talking about.


Once you have finished your practiced elevator pitch, stop yourself from saying anything else. I know this is a tough one, but people often -blabberon, which deflates the impact of your elevator pitch. When you stop talking, it prompts the other person you are introducing yourself to, to ask about you or introduce themselves. Both these outcomes are a win for you and your business.

Your elevator pitch is among the first things you do that will form an impression with others. You want it to be professional and well presented – just like YOU!

Coenraad Swart is a business mentor at The Hope Factory since 2011 and holds an internationally accredited Coach and Mentor qualification from MBCI.  He is a professional mentor working with business owners to develop themselves and their businesses to their full potential. He has 11 years’ experience in the banking industry, 4 years’ in HR and is also a director and partner in Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute since 2009. Swart has a background in Sales, Customer Relations, Training, Instructional Design and Human Resources. During his tenure with some of South Africa’s largest financial institutions and multinational organisations, he developed expertise in profile assessments, job profiling and other management disciplines with specific emphasis on recruitment and personal development. ThroughCoaching & Mentoring he helps people transform their future reality into their current reality.

The Hope Factory

Founded in 2001, The Hope Factory is an established Enterprise Development Non Profit–company effectively governed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Driven to develop black business owners, The Hope Factory offers a strategic mentorship programme to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals, vision and purpose to grow their business, and to ultimately give back to their community.

The Hope Factory provides an easy, hassle-free way to earn Enterprise Development and Socio Economic Development points.  Through further investment with us, South African organisations can secure assistance with Supplier and Skills Development, as part of the amended B-BBEE Codes.

We exist to grow people, to develop businesses, to impact communities, through our unique mentorship model while adding value to our investors.

For more information visit