the elevator pitch

I remember a story told by Glen Mella, now president of Control4, of how he attended a seminar where company executives were graded “Olympic style” on their elevator pitch. Each participant delivered a 3-minute pitch, about the time of an average elevator ride, while judges sat ready with cards reading 7.0, 8.5, etc. Upon conclusion, the executives were hit with almost instantaneous, gut-level grades on their pitch. It was an intentionally stressful situation, not unlike real-life pitch opportunities. Those that did best, were those who had practiced, maybe even memorized, their pitch well in advance.

The June issue of Business Week magazine says the elevator pitch is far too important to take casually. “Being able to sum up unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others should be a fundamental skill. Yet many executives pay little attention…” More