How Long is 60 Seconds? - Making the most of your 'elevator pitch'

Written by Steve Bridger

How to Write an Effective 60 Second ‘Elevator’ Business Pitch

You’re at a networking event or a seminar/conference/exhibition or trapped in a proverbial ‘elevator’ and have the chance to make a great first impression.  What do you say to promote your business and gain a new business client?  60 seconds is all you’ve got to make an impact and the clock is ticking.

But, how long is 60 Seconds?  The answer- Is between 150 and 200 words.

Knowing the approximate number of words immediately allows you to think of time in terms of parcels of facts and information.  You can break down time into bite-size chunks and craft your message into an effective mini-presentation.  One of the great benefits of preparing an ‘elevator pitch’ is that it demands an accurate and objective assessment of your business and the benefits you will bring to a new customer.

When you’re put on the spot your inner voice can calm you down and say:
“Don’t freeze, you’ve done your homework, you’ve rehearsed, you’ve prepared, you’re ready”.  Why? Because you’ve followed a guide like the one below it will make every second count.

The 60 Second Template – Words by the Second

A Guide to Successful Business ‘Speed’ Pitching.

1. Your name, company name & what is your role or function?

Approx 10 seconds. – 30 words      

2. What are your unique selling points – what makes you different – Why should I listen to you?

Approx 15 seconds – 45 words      

3. What benefits will your organisation contribute to help a potential client?

Approx 20 Seconds. – 60/80 words      

4. Ask whether they or someone they know would be interested in learning more/receiving a follow-up email/arrange a meeting

Approx 10 Seconds. – 30 words      

5. Ask for their business card and give them yours

Approx 5 Seconds – 15 words

When you've finished preparing the first draft, think of ways you can improve it based on including any latest developments or connect your pitch to the event you are attending to create a relevant link of interest to those who you're speaking to.

Good luck - keep rehearsing and developing your skills.  It'll will avoid you 'going blank' when put on the spot!

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