Elevator pitch template and tips

By Nick Butler


A woman gives an elevator pitch to her colleague in an actual elevator.

Writing an Elevator Pitch during an Agile Project Kick-off helps distil your team’s shared vision for your product. Get an Elevator Pitch template and tips on writing your pitch.

Get the Agile Project Kick-off Kit as a handy 39-page PDF. Based on this blog post series, it’s been revised and expanded, giving you the tools you need to get your project off to a successful start.

Buy the Kit

The Elevator Pitch exercise covers similar ground to the Press Release. The Elevator Pitch centres on your product’s unique selling point in the marketplace and distills it into a story you can tell in the time it takes to get to your floor. In contrast, the Press Release goes into more detail and focuses on benefits for both the customer and the company.

Because of the similarities, at Boost we don’t necessarily do both in our discovery workshops. We tend to do an Elevator Pitch when we have a number of press releases which are quite different and we want to distil them all into a single concise statement that we can share outside the team. This means we sometimes make a spur of the moment call to work on a pitch after we’ve done the Press Release exercise.

We use an approach based on the Elevator Pitch template from Geoffrey Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm.

Elevator Pitch template

Elevator pitch template for Agile Project Kick-off.

Download the Elevator Pitch template (PDF, 228KB)

How to run the Elevator Pitch activity

Write up the template on a large canvas like a whiteboard or flipchart paper. Explain the purpose of the activity then talk them through the different elements of the template.

Ask the team to start offering their suggestions for each part of the template, working through it until you’re done.

You might do a couple of drafts before you get something you’re all happy with.

It’s easiest to understand the Elevator Pitch template if you give an example. Here’s one I prepared earlier:

Example Elevator Pitch

Imagine you’ve invented sliced bread. This is how you might fill in the Elevator Pitch Template:

For toast aficionados
Who are dissatisfied with loaf bread
Our product is a pre-sliced loaf
That provides uniform slices of bread straight from the packet.
Unlike uncut bread,
Our product saves time and provides a consistent toasting experience.

Tips for creating the Elevator Pitch

This activity keeps you busy as a facilitator. You need to capture suggestions as the team call them out and then identify the consensus view based on the discussions.

People can get hung up on finding the perfect wording. If this happens, try to get something that everyone is comfortable with but don’t let the discussion drag on. It can be a bit of a balancing act and the conversations around the right words are as important as finding the right words themselves. But if people are getting obsessed about the individual words and phrases, listen for the essence of their ideas and offer alternative phrasings.

In the end you should have something that helps the team position the product in the market and promote it to stakeholders. And, when people at parties ask you what you’re working on, you’ll have an answer ready and waiting.

The Kick-off Kit

This post is part of a series covering the tools and templates you can use for a Project Kick-off.

  1. Introduction to the Agile Project Kick-off
  2. Project kick-off agenda: Running the workshop
  3. Product Vision presentations that inspire
  4. Press Release template and tips
  5. Elevator Pitch template and tips
  6. Pragmatic Personas template and tips
  7. User Story Mapping
  8. Prioritise user stories and produce more value sooner
  9. Success Sliders
  10. User stories: a beginner’s guide
  11. The Team Charter: Build a better team together
  12. Kick-off kit in brief: The discovery workshop made simple

Get the Agile Project Kick-off Kit as a handy 39-page PDF. Based on this blog post series, it’s been revised and expanded, giving you the tools you need to get your project off to a successful start.

Buy the Kit

Further reading

Watch the Board episode on Product Discovery Workshops

Agile training

In New Zealand and keen to train with the team who put together the Kick-off kit? Learn more about our Agile training:

Agile Professional Foundation certification, Wellington, NZ – two-day ICAgile course

Introduction to Agile methodology, Wellington, NZ – free two-hour workshop

Agile Accelerator team assessment – Agile review and action plan

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