Why You Should Have an Elevator Pitch and How to Develop One

Kara Powell | May 23, 2012

The term elevator pitch conjures an image of an overly slick salesperson delivering his or her best sales pitch to you in a short amount of time. All while youre trapped in an elevator, with no path to escape.

Thats not very compelling at all.

But Michael Hyatt" target="_blank"> in his new, great book entitled Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World makes a great case for why and how to develop one. (Important sidenote: since this week is the official release of Michael’s new book, purchasing a copy this week gets you over $300 of extra bonus materials, so if you’re interested in buying a copy, I’d encourage you to do so this week.)

The reality is that time is short, and you never know when youre going to have a chance to share about what you do. Whether what you do is stay at home as a full-time parent or lead a complex ministry or leadership organization, how do you explain it to others in a succinct, accurate, and meaningful way?

Enter the elevator pitch.

According to Michael, there are 4 primary components to an elevator pitch:

1. Your product name and category

2. The problem you are attempting to solve

3. Your proposed solution

4. The key benefit of your solution

Michael helps flesh out these components by sharing his own elevator pitch for Platform:

I am writing a new [Component 1] business book called Platform. [Component 2] It is designed for anyone who is trying to get attention for his or her product, service, or cause. [Component 3] I teach my readers how to build a tribe of loyal followers, using social media and other new technologies. [Component 4] I explain that it has never been easier, less expensive, or more possible than right now.

No overly slick sales pitch involved, but rather a clear and compelling explanation of what you do.

This month Im working on revising the elevator pitch for the Fuller Youth Institute. Its still a work in progress, so Im not even ready to share it here. Plus I need to get the FYI teams input before we go public with it.

But its something I need to do if Im going to be ready at any time to share about our mission and its impact.

Anyone else want to share their elevator pitch, or their thoughts about elevator pitches?

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.

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