Elevator Pitch vs. 2 Minute Pitch

I was asked to write on the difference between the “Elevator Pitch” and the “2 Minute Pitch”, and the elements that go into each.

An “Elevator Pitch” is the short, engaging statement you are going to make to draw someone into conversation with you. The term comes from the idea that it should be short enough to deliver between floors on the elevator where you’ve run into a potentially influential contact. The typical time frame people think of for this is 30 seconds or less.

In fact, my experience is that 80% of the Elevator Pitches delivered are fairly ineffective. (When I give workshops on the “Killer Marketing Message” to business networking groups, where people are very experienced with giving such pitches, and ask how many they just heard that they found truly engaging, I STILL get an answer like 10-20%.)

The reason is that most people get stuck in their titles and duties, instead of focusing strictly on answering the fundamental question, “Why Should I Pay Your Salary?” or “Why Should I Pay For Your Product / Service?”

Here’s a short article that talks about this a bit more:


The “2 Minute Pitch” refers to the story you want to tell at the start of any interview, and often at the start of an extended 1-on-1 networking meeting, to help frame the discussion. Here the idea is to give the interviewer or networking contact a more complete picture of the entire package you bring to the table, in no more than 2 minutes.

Just as with the “Elevator Pitch”, Your “2 Minute Pitch” needs to be engaging. It needs to communicate selected results you have delivered or could deliver to keep it interesting and to provide the ‘hooks’ for further conversation and questions. There are many ways you can approach this, and I have developed one format for this has proven very effective for many people, which I refer to this as your “HERO Story.”  Here’s an article on putting together your HERO Story:


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