How to Write an Amazing Elevator Pitch for Your Startup

A full and extensive guide on how to write an amazing elevator pitch for your startup.

To translate an Elevator Pitch for your Startup into the 2021 terms it’s basically a TikTok about
your company: short, to the point, high energy & leaving your audience wanting more.

That’s it. Maybe I should stop writing this guide right now 🙂

But seriously, an elevator is a short introduction to your startup for someone who doesn’t have a
clue who you are or what you do. Typically, it’s around 30 seconds long (the length of an
elevator ride or a good TikTok) and should be designed to make your listeners get excited and
want to ask questions to learn more about your business idea.

There’s a very good reason why two thirds of this guide is focused on shooting, editing &
publishing your elevator pitch.

What’s the point of putting in all this work, perfecting & crafting each & every word if you’re not
going to put it out there in the world (on the internet is probably more accurate) and do your best
to ensure maximum visibility for your startup?

So after section 1: writing your elevator pitch and once you have your first “prototype” elevator
pitch get to work on section 2 & 3 to make sure that prototype gets published on every relevant
social media platform out there AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

And Yes, before you ask, you should publish your first complete draft online. This is Lean
Startup for elevator pitches. The same principles apply. If you’re too scared to publish it online,
then you will never get real feedback and without feedback your pitch will simply not get better &
your potential visibility will be wasted.

So read this guide (quickly!) and get to work on writing, recording, editing and publishing your
elevator pitch.

If you need more motivation, I’ll review your video pitch once it’s ready (and published online but
not before!) – just send it to me at:

How to Write Your Elevator Pitch
Essential Content to be Included
FIVE Tips for The PERFECT Elevator Pitch
How to Shoot Your Elevator Pitch


How to Write Your Elevator Pitch

Essential Content to be Included:
Your elevator pitch is not a condensed version of your 3-minute startup pitch.
I often see entrepreneurs trying to pitch 3 minutes in 30 seconds. Please don’t do that.
The idea is not to cover everything but to provide a basic & simple overview of your startup,
leaving your audience or listener wanting more.

To help you along the way here are the basic requirements for your elevator pitch content.

Clearly state who your ideal customer is – if you tell me it’s everyone, you’re not being specific
enough. The more specific you can be the easier it is to understand your startup. Develop a
clear persona of who that human is and tell me in 1-2 sentences max who that person is.
You can also define your customer as part of a short story while you explain the massive
problem they have.

Spend most of your time talking about the problem and your solution.
Pull on emotions here – this is not a simple sentence – Convince me that this sh*t matters and
that I should care about it!

Time to shine. After convincing me that this problem is the worst in the world it’s now time to hit
me with your amazing solution that makes life for the customer a million times better.
Don’t forget to mention in a subtle way how your solution is UNIQUE – what makes it special?

Super important. Show me that this is not just another crazy startup idea that will fail fast.
If you have your first customers, newsletter subscribers, investment, a prototype, or demo,
spoken to 100+ customers, or any other thing that shows you’ve taken action then include it.
Do this in 1 sentence that shows your audience that people are interested in your idea.

To build on all the great work you did in the previous parts always add a clear call to action for
your audience at the end – think first what you might want the audience to do?
Should they visit your website or subscribe to your newsletter? DO you need investment or are
you searching for co-founders?

BE SPECIFIC and make it easy for someone to react to your call to action.

FIVE Tips for The PERFECT Elevator Pitch

● Capturing your audience in the first 3 seconds is the most important thing.
● Make sure to maintain high energy & bring emotion into your opening.
● Be a little dramatic to get their attention. See “Further Reading” for inspiration

● No blockchain, AI, machine learning, abbreviations or industry jargon.
● Pretend the person you’re talking to has no clue about your startup topic at all.

● Tell me a story so I understand more how this problem affects your customer and how
your solution will solve this problem so well.
● If you had this problem yourself then great explain it from your perspective.
● Remember, you’re building a solution to help a HUMAN, never forget to include them.

● After writing your first draft practice pitching out loud, make small improvements, do this
10 times to improve your pitch (this is Lean Startup for pitching ).
● After iterating & improving do the same thing with family & friends to get real feedback
● You don’t need to pitch live every time, take a quick video, send it and ask for feedback.
● Ask for one thing the liked, one thing that could be improved & 1 thing that was missing.

● Follow the guide of ~80 words per 30 seconds of video.
● This is the general guide that I use for my TikTok videos.
● This is not a TikTok video with a high pace, your pitch should have clarity and
punctuation to make your points, don’t try to rush it – stick to the word limit guide.

Quick Pro Tip: 2 for the Price of 1
Once you have your elevator pitch ready to rock & roll, spend 5 more minutes to write down
your MINI ESCALATOR PITCH (I just came up with this name, cool right?).
● This is essentially a 1 sentence pitch that concisely sums up your startup.
● Having this 1 sentence pitch in your back pocket memorized will be a HUGE advantage.
● Try this template from Founders Institute (blog, video & template here).

Further Reading
● Slidebean’s guide to writing your elevator pitch with a full blog with famous startup
examples and a YouTube video.

How to Shoot Your Elevator Pitch

Shoot in landscape format
● I’ll assume you’re sending this to an accelerator, or an investor so use landscape.
● Landscape provides extra space in the frame for you to insert some images of your
product or other visuals to help grab people’s attention.
● You can also always resize your landscape video to fit a horizontal format for TikTok etc.

Camera Stability is Important
● If you already own a tripod, make sure to use it.
● If not please do not buy one: Use a shelf and some books to support your phone.
● Here is a 30 second video on building your own tripod using 2 binder clips.

● Lighting is super important so make sure to record during the day if you can.
● Make use of natural light by facing a window while recording.
● Prioritize good strong light from the front shining on your beautiful face.

● Remove any background noise in your area (fans, open windows, crazy cats etc.)
● If you own a microphone, make sure to use it but test everything in advance.
● If you have no microphone, then stay <1 meter from the camera/phone.
● You may need to test different locations in case there is an echo in your space.

Background & Set
● Keep your background plain and simple. Using a white wall is perfect.
● Avoid any moving objects in the background like flying cats or TV screens.
● Place books or a plant in the corner of your frame to make your background cooler.
● For inspiration check out this MOOC we shot for my job at UnternehmerTUM (shot using
an iPhone 11 and in my home!, check from 0:45 secs for simple background ideas) .
Bonus resources
● My #1 source for video recording tips & tricks is Think Media on YouTube

Further Reading
● Check out this great article on Medium on how to record your virtual pitch


How to Edit & Publish Your Elevator Pitch

● This is simply the best tool for making design easy & quick (start with the free version).
● I use it for my logo, Thumbnails, Engaging social media posts & all my videos.
● Consider including some overlay animations, videos or images for your elevator pitch.

● Free video editing tool with auto-subtitles (*YouTube has its own subtitles feature).
● Easy to use and you can do pretty much everything here.
● Includes: Royalty free music, stock videos, animation, green screen feature etc.
● Full overview of CapCut is here.
PC version | Android version | iOS version

● If you don’t already have a YouTube channel setup for your startup – go set it up.
● YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world so get on there.
● Share your video in a professional way by uploading a “unlisted” video to YouTube.
○ This will be only visible to people who have the shared link.
○ You can also upload as public (highly recommended for visibility).

Bonus TIPS
If you’re using YouTube publicly for your startup check out these two essential tools.

● Keyword driven approach to creating content.
● Make content people are actually searching for (remove the guesswork).
● Fantastic insights on your channel and other videos & channels.

● This provides a score of your headlines to help improve them as well as some guides.
● Headlines for your YouTube videos, blogs, LinkedIn articles, etc.
● Headlines are what grab people’s attention so make sure they’re perfect.

Further Reading
– How to Edit on CapCut Video here
– See YouTube privacy settings guide for videos here & how to upload a video here.
How to get the most out of Canva.

Once this is done post your elevator pitch video on all relevant social media platforms.
For feedback, send me your video & I’ll review it for you (but only after it’s published online!)

Just send it to me at:


Reach out if you need anything!
Dr. Alan Armstrong


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2 thoughts on “How to Write an Amazing Elevator Pitch for Your Startup”

  1. Brett Williams

    A great framework for pitches. I used it as a guide. Very helpful. Short, sharp and to the point.

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