An elevator pitch, elevator speech or elevator statement is a short sales pitch, that is, a summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition.
The name 'elevator pitch' reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes and is widely credited to Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso (while he was editor for Vanity Fair) for its origin.
The term itself comes from a scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important in the elevator. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, the conversation will either continue after the elevator ride, or end in exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting. A variety of people, including project managers, salespeople, evangelists, and policy-makers, commonly rehearse and use elevator pitches to get their points across quickly.
- Pincus, Aileen (June 18, 2007). "The Perfect (Elevator) Pitch". Business Week.
- Hahn, Gerald J. (1989), "Statistics-Aided Manufacturing: A Look Into the Future", The American Statistician, 43 (2): 74–79, doi:10.2307/2684502, JSTOR 2684502.
- Peters, Tom (1999), "The Wow Project" (PDF), Fast Company, 24, p. 116, archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-01.