Creating Your 30 Second Pitch

Your story is bought within 10 seconds of introduction.  Do you have a story?


The last time you met somebody, there was a point where you had to explain who you were & what you did.  We call this an “elevator pitch” in Sales.  In an elevator pitch, you have an initial 10 seconds to hook the listener.  If you are successful, the listener will give a positive cue for you to continue. If you are not successful, you will get a negative cue.   

How did you introduce yourself in the past?  Don’t remember?  It probably means you’ve never thought about it.   Read: If you don’t have your elevator pitch down, then you are dead before you’ve even opened your mouth.  I know from personal experience having given thousands of elevator pitches, that the difference between a successful elevator pitch and a negative one means you’ve lost an opportunity for yourself.  In Sales this means you’ve just lost a potential client. 

What does an elevator pitch look like?

0-10 seconds (The Hook): Initial Impression is Formed

10-30 seconds (The Meat): Value is Proved or Not Proved


Remember that you are selling a story about yourself.  A good story engages the listener so that they want to learn more right away.  Which engages you better?

“What do you do?”

1) I work for Dell and do sales.

2) I help develop and expand the market for Dell’s consumer business. 

If you answered 2, you are correct.  The second response forces the listener to enquire.  It’s the first time he’s ever heard that answer and now he’s intrigued.  BAM, That’s a Hook!


Once you’ve successfully hooked the listener, they will give you a positive cue.  The cue can be both verbal or non-verbal which is why this is easier in person.  The cue can be anything from a nod to a direct question.  Once you’ve picked up on the positive cue, you want to succinctly sell them about yourself and how you could be of value to them in the future.  It SHOULD NOT read like an interview.  It should be able to tell a story and get the other person excited about what you do.  Here is an example:

“We’ve grown Dell from the bottom up and have helped them reach their peak.  Everyone there is on their game and we all work towards a common goal–to be the best computer company out there.  The energy at work is electrifying.  It’s great helping build a Fortune 500 business and learning so much in the process.”

What you’ve just done is sold yourself forever in that listener’s heart.  Create you own 30 second commercial.  Tell me, why should I buy from you?

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10 thoughts on “Creating Your 30 Second Pitch

  1. Everyone who wants to define themselves should have a 30 second pitch. Creating a pitch forces you to think about what it is you do, why you do it and how you feel about it.


  2. Daryl,

    Very good point. I’ve found that writing down your pitch is really helpful to visualize your thoughts of who you are, what you do, and the values that you live for.


  3. There’s not much meat in your burger.

    It’s vague, uses hackwords like “electrifying” and, trust me, there’s going to be a rebellion against the falsity of saying you want to help everybody all the time — because it is dishonest. We help others to help ourselves. That’s the key motivator. I just read your posting about candour. Your bubbie wouldn’t talk like this.


  4. I’ve noticed that when you have 30 seconds with somebody, it’s more important to get someone
    excited than to get bogged down in the details of what you’re doing.

    Getting someone excited gets them asking questions and interested. When you talk straight details, people get bored and get ready for their chance to speak.


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