Your title slide is where you list your company’s name, contact info and most importantly, give your elevator pitch.

When you’re done, this slide will look like something as simple as this:

Business Plan Slide 1 Elevator Pitch

NOTE BEFORE YOU KEEP READING: This is a chapter out of my Amazon Best Selling Book titled: Back of the Napkin to… Business Plan in 11 Slides that I’ve giving to you for free.

If you’re serious about building a business plan for your idea, or current business, I recommend that you buy the book because it has all the chapters in it and space to write answers. And it’s a heck of a lot easier than printing everything from webpages or keeping track of bookmarking all the pages of the chapters on this blog.
You can buy it in hardcover or paperback on Amazon.

How to write a business plan book by Brandon White. Back of the Napkin to...Business Plan in 11 Slides. Amazon best seller

Buy the business plan book on Amazon

Slide 1

This will be the most straightforward looking slide in your entire deck. All you really need to include here is your company name, tagline, logo, and your professional contact information.
What’s not written on this slide that you’ll still need is your Elevator Pitch. You’ll deliver it to your audience while displaying this slide.

Your elevator speech is a short, persuasive speech meant to spark interest in your company, product, or service that gets a conversation started with someone who knows nothing about your business, product, or service.
It’s not intended to tell your whole company history or even tell too much of anything about yourself. It’s meant to hook the listener.

The goal here is to create interest in the company so the person you’re talking to becomes engaged. Your elevator pitch should open the door to a follow up conversation that eventually leads to a sale, investment or other desired outcome such as recruiting a new employee.

A great elevator pitch is less than 10 seconds. A good elevator pitch lasts between 15 and 45 seconds. Anything over 45 seconds needs more work.
Here is an example of the evolution of the same elevator pitch so you can compare a great, good and needs work pitch. This pitch is from a company that I founded a few years ago. The great pitch took about a year to get really dialed in. I’m telling you this so you don’t get discouraged and you can see what you’re aiming for.

A Great Elevator Pitch
“We help you find files you know you have, but can’t find, faster.”

A Good Elevator Pitch
“We hook up to your email and, in a matter of minutes, sort all your files by person, group, company, and in some cases, the place you sent or received them. This allows you to easily find your files and not waste time looking for them.”

An Elevator Pitch that Needs Work
“Hi, my name is Brandon White. I took all my experience from my master’s in psychology and combined it with my years of building technology companies to create a SaaS application that hooks up to your email and quickly indexes and sorts all your files by person, group, company, and in some cases the place you sent or received them. This allows you to easily find your files and not waste time looking for them. You can reduce your frustration of wasting time looking for files and do actual work.

I’m very passionate about this because I built it for my wife. I also recruited an amazing team of engineers and they all have master’s in computer science and at least 10 years experience.”

See the difference?!

Getting your elevator pitch dialed in is an ongoing process and it will evolve as your business grows. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right immediately.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. It can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s worth it.

Your elevator pitch is a tool you will use in everything you do in your business—in sales, marketing, customer service, recruiting, raising money, HR, and finance.

3 BIGGEST Mistakes People Make When Giving Their Elevator Pitch

Before you do the exercise, let’s walk through the top three mistakes people make when delivering their elevator pitch so you can avoid them.

1. People start by saying their name.

This is going to sound harsh, but you need to hear it to succeed. No one cares about you. Well, maybe your mom does, but she doesn’t count here.

People like to talk about themselves, they like to hear their own names, and they want solutions to their own personal and work problems so that they can save time and make more money.

Lead with their name, if you know it. If you don’t know it, ask for it. Then they will have heard their own name twice, once from themselves and once from you. Now you’ll have their attention.

2. People give their background

Here’s the deal, you don’t have to be “qualified” if you have something that solves a real problem for the person you’re talking to. Having a solution to the problem qualifies you.

Sarah Blakely had never made underwear or anything else even close when she invented Spanx. She was selling copiers. Women didn’t care. It made them look thin and as far as they were concerned Sarah was a genius.

Don’t tell people why you’re qualified to solve a problem for them: demonstrate your qualification by offering your solution.

That’s what establishes your credibility, not a degree nor life experience or a list of accomplishments.

I’ll bet you that the person you’re talking to will start asking you questions about your product or service once you show you have a solution to their problem.

And guess what? Now you’ve changed the dynamic of the conversation from you “selling” to them “buying.”

3. People lead with the story of why they created the company.

People will usually make this mistake either right after they have introduced themselves or right before.

We are passionate about our companies, products, services, and stories. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears, to create something out of nothing and as a result we like hearing our own story. But the problem is that it’s a self-licking ice cream cone.

You got it, people don’t really care initially. They might ask you why you started your company as a follow up question, but you have to wait until they ask for you to tell them. If they do ask, don’t spend the next 15 minutes talking. People will get bored and lose interest.

Think about a time when you asked a follow up question like this and someone went into a 20 minute saga. You probably couldn’t wait to escape the conversation.

Get your answers down to about 20 or 30 seconds, and no longer. If they keep asking you questions, great. But remember, don’t mistake that question for them wanting to hear a 10 minute spiel. They want an interesting story, but a short one.

Remember, the goal of the entire elevator pitch is to get someone interested in buying your product or service, NOT to hear yourself talk.

The key here is to practice your elevator pitch AND what you’re gonna say if someone asks you questions like:

How did you come up with X?
Who’s working with you?
What’s your background?

The key to successful elevator pitches is practice, practice, practice. And remember, practice makes progress, not perfect, so stick with it and you’ll get there.

How to Build Your Elevator Pitch

Here’s the template to get you started right now. I want you to spend 10 minutes or less replacing the words in the brackets with words describing your product. Just get something down on paper to get the ideas flowing.

You know how [adjective describing problem] it is when, [problem]? We make it [adjective describing solution].

Here’s another version of the template:

We [verb about solving the problem], [the problem], [adjective about solving the problem] by_________

Examples of good Elevator Pitches:

Toyota Car Dealer:
You know what a pain it is to buy a car? We make it easy with fully transparent pricing and a no haggling experience.

File Finder:
We help you find files you know you have, but can’t find, faster.

Barber Shop:
We fix bad haircuts.

Skin Cream:
We take ten years off your age.

Notice how all these spark a level of interest? They do that because they touch on a “pain” point that elicits a follow up question such as:
What do you make?
“How do you do that?
“How does that work?
“Where can I buy that?”
Now you give it a shot. Use the following lines to get down your first draft of an elevator pitch.
Your try:
.…………………………………………………………………………….….
…………………………………………………………………………………
…..……………………………………………………………………….……

You’ll want to keep a log of all the variations that you develop in a word document or note on your computer or phone. You also want to date each of the iterations. This allows you to go back and pull different pieces of past pitches to create different versions of your elevator pitch as your business, product, or service evolves.

Additionally, you can use this record as a reminder of what you were thinking a year ago or three months ago or two years ago.

If you’d like a separate sheet or just a bigger page to work on, you can download and print out this worksheet.

Best Ways to Practice Your 
Elevator Pitch

1. Record yourself practicing your pitch on your phone

This way you can play it back and hear how you sound. If this feels awkward and you don’t like hearing yourself or seeing yourself on video, that’s completely natural. Be brave and have the courage to do it because it WILL make you better and improve your pitch faster.

2. Time yourself

I like to use a 15 second, 30 second, and 1 minute hourglass. They’re good visual tools that make it easy to gauge how much time you have left. The ones that I use are less than $9 on Amazon. You can find them on Amazon by searching for “plastic hourglass timer.”

3. See if someone else can remember and repeat it.

One of the great things about a simple elevator pitch is that everyone in your company can memorize it and become a sales and marketing person. They’ll have the pitch in their back pocket when someone asks where they work and/or what they sell.

SUMMARY

When you show this slide you’ll give your elevator pitch and you’ll be off to a strong start in your presentation.

The work you’ve just done is the foundation for all of your other slides. As you build your other slides, your elevator pitch will become clearer and easier to come up with, I promise. Get something down on paper and move on to the next slide. By the end of the book you’ll have your elevator pitch dialed in to a good spot.

You kicked this chapter’s butt. Let’s move forward and tackle your Problem Slide.

1 Slide 1: Elevator Pitch
Get your audience excited to hear about your business.

Slide 2: Problem
What problem are your customers experiencing?

3 Slide 3: Solution

4 Slide 4: Market Opportunity

5 Slide 5: Go To Market

6 Slide 6: Traction & Milestones

7 Slide 7: Competition

8 Slide 8: Financials

9 Slide 9: Team

10 Slide 10: Funding

11 Slide 11: Summary