Elevator pitch template and tips

By Nick Butler in Agile on April 27, 2017

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

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. 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.

Introduction to the Agile Project Kick-off

Project kick-off agenda: Running the workshop

Product Vision presentations that inspire

Press Release template and tips

Pragmatic Personas template and tips

User Story Mapping

Prioritise user stories and produce more value sooner

Success Sliders

User stories: a beginner’s guide

The Team Charter – build a better team together

Further reading

Watch the Board episode on Product Discovery Workshops