“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein
The next logical step after giving some thought to the vision for your idea is to elevate your thoughts into an “elevator pitch.” An elevator pitch is a short summary of your idea or business plan that could be presented to anyone during a short elevator ride – or, in our case, explained to a friend or family member.
The elevator pitch can answer questions such as…
A bad elevator pitch…
Examples of a poor elevator pitch:
“Hi, I’m Ellen. I am a skilled runner, so I’m trying to get people to join a running group I’ve created.”
“Hi, I’m Adam. I make ceramics and will be selling them on my website and etsy.com.”
A good elevator pitch should encompass the following elements:
Examples of a good elevator pitch:
“Hi, I’m Ellen. I am creating a community running group in my local park. My goal for the group is to inspire others in my community to become more active while connecting with their neighbors and improving the community. I will expand this group to other communities by using social media and traveling to promote it. The idea came to me during my travels in New Zealand, where I met a group that gathers every weekend to run in different parks around their city. Afterwards, they clean up trash in the park. I thought, ‘Why can’t this happen elsewhere?’”
“Hi, I’m Adam. I am using my skill of making earthen ceramics to provide people with an alternative to generic, mass-produced homeware. My customers will experience the whole process by choosing from my selection of earth tones, which have been selected and developed based on my surroundings at my studio in the Lake District. They will then choose a product: bowl, plate, or platter. My goal is to incorporate features of my surroundings in the Lake District into the ceramics so that people can bring the natural beauty of this region into their homes.”
Notice how the first two examples are bland, do not ignite excitement, and do not offer any details. The second two examples offer personal detail, a call to action, and a target customer base.
There are many great resources out there that provide further guidance for creating a valuable elevator pitch. Two that we find extremely helpful are a TED Talk and a guide by Richard Branson
 Branson, Richard. This is What They Mean by an Elevator Pitch. https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/richard-branson-this-is-what-they-mean-by-an-elevator-pitch 27 Jan. 2017