A Quick Guide to the ‘Elevator Pitch’

In TV advertising, every second counts – especially during peak viewing times such as Superbowl Sunday, when a 30-second ad costs $5 million. In the entrepreneurial world, the stakes can be at least as high. The ability to attract attention and financing often starts with a simple explanation – called “the elevator pitch” — of how your product or service solves a problem.  In fact, this year’s e-Fest will include a segment in which each finalist team will present their idea in an elevator pitch.

EIX editor, author and Texas Tech professor James Wetherbe discusses the elevator pitch in an EIX post. Wetherbe uses a lesson from  television to demonstrate his points. Advertisers use a simple problem/solution format, he points out. They present the problem – whether it’s bad breath, a stain on a shirt, wanting to meet someone to date, car trouble, etc. — and immediately follow that with a solution. The problem is the “hook” that gets our attention then focuses it on the solution.

This “elevator pitch” takes less than a minute but if effective creates interest and curiosity. Unlike a TV advertisement, a pitch allows people to ask questions afterwards. The goal of the pitch is to ensure that discussion takes place so the idea can move forward. Visit Wetherbe’s post for more info, and look at EIX’s Frequently Asked Questions page for other posts that are very useful for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.