Do you want to have an elevator pitch that is both memorable and influential? There are a few secrets to the best pitches and I’m going to share them.

An elevator pitch is your brief introduction of what you do and who you are. And it is the basis of your first impression.

Your first impression directly correlates to what people think of you.

If you have a mediocre pitch, people will think you and your business is mediocre.

If your elevator pitch tries too hard, people will think YOU try too hard. Before we dive into some examples, here are some general do’s and don’t for any elevator pitch to put you on the right track.

Elevator Pitch Do’s:

  • Enunciate and speak clearly
  • Use a paced cadence for people to understand and keep up with you
  • Keep an open torso
  • Aim your torso at the person you are speaking with

Elevator Pitch Dont’s:

  • Don’t freeze or tense up your body. Use movement purposeful to add warmth and energy
  • Wring your hands or crack your knuckles. Use explanatory hand gestures to demonstrate concepts
  • Sound memorized or stagnant. Tell a story or example to add emotionality to your voice

Elevator Pitch Reviews

This month on the blog I have reviewed some reader submitted pitches to give us all an opportunity to learn what to do…and what not to do.

Elevator Pitch Tips for Men


Overall, Johnn did an awesome job!


Cameron’s Elevator Pitch Positives:

  • Show your hands as much as possible
  • Show your palms
  • Use the heart gesture to show authenticity
  • Try to explain your concepts both verbally and nonverbally

Cameron’s Elevator Pitch Negatives:

  • Self-soothing gestures
  • Monotonous — try using more vocal variation! 
  • Mouthful of technical terms — try using a little humor! 

Cameron did an amazing job and his use of nonverbals is spectacular.





My friend Michael submitted his pitch AND it was so good, I didn’t have many comments. I wanted to post it here as an example and pull out some tips Mike nailed:

  • Open Steady Torso: Notice how Mike has his torso aimed straight ahead and has little rocking movement but also doesn’t seem stiff. This is a great natural stance because you want a balance of solidness and relaxed shoulders.
  • Hand Movement: As I say in almost every video to have the right amount of hand movement is key. You want to have your hands visible and moving on the gestures. They should be used for emphasis to help people understand your points.
  • Energy in Voice Tone: Mike’s speech does not sound rehearsed. Because of the fluid and excited energy in his voice it sounds like he is speaking to you for the first time which makes him sound real and interesting. This is a tough nut to crack but once you can say your elevator speech so it sounds natural and unrehearsed you have hit a goldmine–people will remember you and listen to you.

Elevator Pitch Tips for Women

I wanted to post these two awesome pitches I got from fierce females so we can all learn some things women can do to improve and kickstart their pitch.


Alexis did some awesome things we can all use:

  • Speaking slowly
  • Speaking deliberately
  • Pausing in between points
  • Clear and concise hand gestures

Here are some things Alexis can do to improve her pitch:

  • Use more energy and passion!
  • Back up the camera to show more of your torso (especially with online videos)
  • Use your hands for lists


Here are some things Liliana rocked:

  • Tilting her head
  • Using a warm and welcoming voice tone
  • Tilting forward

Here are some easy tweaks she can make to supercharge her pitch:

  • Unclasp your hands
  • Use power emphasis on your most important points
About Vanessa Van Edwards

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and behavioral investigator.

I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.

Join Over 500,000 Students

Are you looking to kickstart your career? Level up your leadership? Join thousands of students learning to master their people skills and make an impact on the world. And for joining today I'm giving away a free one hour audio training to help you jump start your learning!

On a journey? Choose your path below

10 People Skills You Need to Succeed

Be Confident with Your Body Language

How to Be Charismatic (without being inauthentic)

Ready to keep learning? Read on...

As Featured In