The 7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch

Whether you’re raising money from angel investors or venture capitalists or honing your business strategy, a concise elevator pitch is essential for achieving your goals. Deliver your pitch in under 60 seconds as a speech, presentation, or one-page overview.

Think of your pitch as an executive summary that outlines your business and explains why you’ll succeed.

The 7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch

How to build a winning elevator pitch in 7 steps:

1. Define the problem

Identify a problem worth solving. If your product or service doesn’t solve a customer’s problem, you don’t have a viable business.

The size of the problem doesn’t have to be huge. As long as you are solving a problem that customers have, you can build a business. Here are some examples:

“Transferring photos from mobile phones is difficult and complex.”

“There are no good Chinese restaurants in Eugene, Oregon.”

“Analyzing results from MRI tests is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.”

Simplify your customer’s problem into one or two sentences or bullet points. Initially focus on one core problem.

2. Describe your solution

First, make sure you are solving a real problem that customers have. Then, explain your solution. Focus on solving that one problem.

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Simplify your solution description to a few sentences or bullet points.

3. Know your target market

Define who has the problem you are solving and quantify your potential customers.

Market segmentation

Divide your target market into smaller groups.

Define a specific target market. For example, a new shoe company might target athletes and segment the market into runners, walkers, hikers, etc.

How big is your potential market?

Estimate the number of people in each target market segment and calculate the total market size based on what they currently spend.

Include these numbers in your pitch.

4. Describe the competition

Every business has competition. Focus on what advantages your solution offers compared to the alternatives.

Highlight your key differentiators from the competition.

5. Share who’s on your team

Talk about why your team is the right team to execute your vision and why your team’s skill set is what is needed to lead your company to success.

Recognize gaps in your team and acknowledge the need to hire the right people.

6. Include a financial summary

Understand your business model, including who pays your bills and your expenses.

No need for a detailed forecast in your pitch. Have one ready to provide if asked.

7. Show traction with milestones

Talk about upcoming goals and notable milestones. If you have evidence of success, mention it.

Demonstrate that you have thought through the steps necessary to achieve your business goals.

Put it all together into a presentation

If you need help creating a pitch deck, check out our article on what slides to include and the content for each slide.

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You can also create a Lean Plan as a hand-out or for sending a pitch via email.

Bonus component: The one-sentence pitch

Be able to describe your company in one simple sentence.

A clear and concise headline communicates the core essence of your company and generates interest in learning more.

These seven steps are the essential components of a winning elevator pitch. Let me know if I missed anything critical on Twitter @noahparsons.

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