The 30-Second Pitch – How To Create An Elevator Pitch With An Example

The 30-Second Pitch

The 30-Second Pitch

I’m sure you’ve heard this before.

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D’Banj is at an international airport on his way somewhere. He hears gist concerning the being-around-ness of an international celebrity – Kanye West.Somehow, he gets Kanye to give him two minutes of his time…

You can read the rest on Google. If you’re from Mars, that is.

The question I kept asking myself after reading that story was: “How would I sell myself to someone if I was asked to give a 30-second pitch?”

Imagine meeting the greatest person alive right now as far as what you do is concerned. Imagine meeting Bill Gates if you’re in IT. Picture meeting Don Jazzy if you’re an artist. Imagine meeting Beyonce as a singer – and so on. You can imagine how ‘busy’ these people are; how much value they place on their time. So you finally have an opportunity; you meet this person who can literally change your life.

How would you convince them you know what you’re about?

Let’s turn everything off/switch everything off for a second. You’re in a cool, dark room with nothing but your thoughts. Do you see the room? Are you in there, comfortable and cosy?

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Now think. Free your mind and imagination, but direct them towards what you do; that one thing that is your dream/passion/desire/fuel. Think about the one thing you plan to contribute to the progress of the human race; the one thing you want to leave as your legacy after you’re gone. Do you have anything like that?


Now leave the room, and go to another one. This has lights on, but is still as comfortable as the other one. Now you have a pen and a pad. Write five of the most important parts of that dream, what it means to you and what you hope it means to everyone else. Once you’ve done that, read them to yourself over and over – and then make a sentence of the keywords. A sentence that doesn’t contain big words and you can say to yourself or anyone else in thirty seconds.

It’s that simple.

For example, I’m a writer. This would be my 30-second pitch to you:

Words to me are a way of connecting to a world way bigger than myself; than my imagination. I play with words all day; walk this world via my computer screen, and I hope to take you along with me; to forge connections deeper than words can explain. I’m an adventurer.’

What do you think?

I like this ‘exercise’ because it challenges your knowledge of what you do and how clear about it you are. You should be able to summarise and or simplify what you do in the simplest of ways. A pastor once said: “If you explain an idea to your spouse and he/she doesn’t understand it, you don’t understand it yourself.”I use this quote in a broader sense here because if you know, truly know what you’re doing you should be able to break it down into its most basic form.

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So this is my challenge for you today – can you explain what you do in its simplest form in thirty seconds? Imagine you met a million-Naira investor in an elevator and she asked what you do, can you sell yourself before the elevator gets to her floor?


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