• Ask Lisa Your Burning QuestionsQ: “I struggle with my elevator pitch what do you suggest?” This question was asked during a live training/speaking session by a participant and then a lively discussion about this occurred on Facebook. So, I’m addressing it here. On Facebook a savvy and sassy colleague said “This afternoon. A lunchtime networking event. 20 women. 20 elevator pitches as we introduce ourselves. My mind is numb by the 10th “I help….ideal client…who has a struggle with…so that…”

    This is a common scenario and it’s clear that people are done being pitched in bland, vanilla ways.

    A: So, what about the elevator pitch? Don’t do it! I firmly believe the elevator pitch is DEAD. I think it takes deep listening to acknowledge what people really want. It also requires a bit of mystique at times. Each struggle is different even if it’s in the same area. Because people are unique and are not motivated by the same drivers.

    Although the main entry point for working with me is on web copy and strategy, not everyone WANTS that… (and I offer much more that’s just an entry point).

    Depending on where I’m introducing myself. I might say — “My mission is to give YOU a voice to turn your ideas into something that matters. I do that with a simple 3-step formula (that isn’t cookie cutter or paint by number) to help you create marketing messages with integrity that get results”. I may or may not expand upon my philosophies being featured in Inc Magazine and more (depends on the room, the vibe, the energy and WHO I’m speaking to. Hint: being featured in Inc could help land speaking gigs etc. and it could also come across as bragging if dropped in the wrong setting).

    The “struggle” for each person and the “results” for each person are always subjective. I try not to focus on the pain points because we’re all in enough pain. I’ve also found that creating stories based around value proposition (the value and results you deliver from each offering you have) is POWERFUL beyond belief. Have you done this?

    Anything less than truth now comes across as contrived and inauthentic. If you’re simply memorizing something because you’re scared or not fully confident in what you have to offer, it SHOWS. So, be YOU, find your stride, own your voice and tell me what you REALLY do and why.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts?  Feel free to weigh in by leaving a reply?! Do you have additional questions about advertising, copywriting and marketing? Submit your questions here and I might just blog the A to your Q.  AND, be sure to grab your FREE Copywriting Action Plan to help you improve your marketing messages here.

    Lisa Manyon

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog

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    19 responses to “Ask Lisa: What about the elevator pitch?”

    1. Sue Painter says:

      Call it what you will, we all have the “who and do what” statements in our pocket (that is Michael Port’s term). Unique and memorable and SHORT are the keys for me. I don’t want to hear where a person has been featured as it comes off to me as too braggy too quickly. Later on, maybe. Mostly, I just want to know their name and read their vibe. :-)

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        It’s all about positioning. Leading with a feature might make sense when you’re having a conversation about speaking at an event. MY point is that you must have many different ways to explain your value proposition depending on the situation, who you’re speaking with and why you’re interacting. I find the canned spiels to be a real turn off and it’s clear when someone has simply memorized and “elevator pitch” as opposed to truly embodying their message with passion.

        Write on!~


    2. I love the whole idea of not using an elevator pitch! You are right on when you say that people can tell when you’ve memorized something just for the heck of it. I really resonate with your advice to tell people what you really do. The more real you are, the better connection you will make with others.

    3. Lisa, this is certainly revolutionary to me. I have always recommended having an elevator pitch prepared and I constantly work on refining mine. However I see where you’re coming from because customization is becoming more and more important in our society.

      • Lisa Manyon says:

        Mary Ellen,

        It’s more about the energy behind it. Imagine being in an elevator with someone and rapidly spewing a pitch. That’s what comes to mind for me. That and the canned, unnatural approach that many have when memorizing a message instead of embodying it. I am sure you share what you do beautifully and teach your clients to do the same. It does take time to speak our truth with grace and ease.

        Write on!~


    4. I agree we need more than the common cookie cutter elevator pitch. I like to open with a statistic and something positive “Did you know 40 million adults in the USA suffer from anxiety? And did you know that you can also completely eliminate anxiety with food and nutrients? I’m a food mood expert and I can show you how to do this….


      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Asking questions is important. It’s about engaging, listening and providing a solution when appropriate. I am sure you have hundreds of different ways you can introduce yourself depending on were you are and who you’re speaking with.

        Write on!~


    5. Jessica says:

      For me, I share what I do, how I got into it, what it does for others, and what it does for me that I didn’t expect. I have it in a short succinct statement that starts a conversation.

    6. Thanks for your article. I sometimes struggle with the elevator pitch and tend to say different things depending on the audience and situation. I like the way you demonstrated what an effective elevator pitch was. I’m not sure I would share awards and such out the gate. I would reserve that for a deeper conversation and use that to emphasize how I am part of the solution they need.

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        See my response to, Sue. The awards, features approach is appropriate for specific settings.

        AND, we should be comfortable sharing accomplishments without bragging or feeling shame that it might seem that way to others (this is a huge challenge for women, especially).

        Write on!~


    7. Mitch Tublin says:

      The elevator pitch is alive and well. I do agree
      with how you referenced it – – – this style may not be useful any longer. In addition, I agree that it depends upon the audience or person you are speaking with. My suggestion is to have a handful of elevator pitches ready to use at all times which are all factual and are said with ease, personality and grace.

    8. I still believe it is important that we have the kind of clarity about who we are and what we do that we can state it in a short, succinct way.

      As Sue suggests, it is the opener. It is not the closer!


      Singer/Songwriter/TV Show Host

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        Of course — it’s vital to be able to speak our brilliance and share what we do with grace and ease. It’s important to be able to adapt and have several ways to interact depending on the situation. See my reply to Sue.

        Write on!~


    9. patrice says:

      Playing with the art of combining brevity, clarity, flexibility and being present. Haven’t mastered it yet and when I get close, the difference is palpable.

    10. patrice says:

      None of us wants to be unclear or ramble, and Lisa seems to be getting at using language, phrasing and cadence that is authentic to you. When we first start out the formula is a great crutch and if we continue to use it as a formula it becomes a cliche. I spent a decade on the corporate side of a direct selling giant and the independent business owners all wanted a formula on “what to say” but the folks that evolved their language and delivery over time and changed it up as they grew were the one’s that broke past the stereotypes and conscious bias folks have about the industry and really started to change lives through attracting entrepreneurs and sustaining their business. It was authentic, not like the flashy and charismatic gurus who build big businesses that are not sustainable without their sparkling smile. These folks changed real lives by being real with people and sounding real. I am sure you all do it with your businesses now. Brava, Lisa, encourage us to sound like ourselves in all the ways we use words!

      • Lisa Manyon says:


        You nailed. Finding your voice is key. Loved this… “These folks changed real lives by being real with people and sounding real.”

        Keeping it real is crucial.

        Write on!~


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