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The Business in Elevators

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that business men and women are exposed to elevators on a constant daily basis. The same goes for a few other professions as well – medical professionals in hospitals, office workers, etc. – but business professionals can use elevators for other reasons than just traveling up and down floors. Sometimes these commercial elevators are used for pitching ideas to higher ups and administration. Thus, the elevator pitch was born.

This is not the main reason why this type of presentation is called the elevator pitch – this term more or less stands for the amount of time it should take you to give a pitch of any kind, according to an article in Business Week:

“That’s too bad, because the elevator pitch—so named because it should last no longer than the average elevator ride—is far too important to take casually. It’s one of the most effective methods available to reach new buyers and clients with a winning message. True, you may not actually be doing the pitching in an elevator, but even if your meeting is a planned, sit-down event, you should still be prepared to capture your audience’s attention quickly.”

Now, while the idea of being able to get your ideas out quickly to anybody willing to listen is a good idea, one write believes that an actual in-elevator elevator pitch isn’t a great idea. According to a piece in Fast Company:

“…there’s nothing more ineffective than having someone talk at you uncontrollably for 1-2 minutes–think pull-string dolls that were popular in the 1960s and 70s. I’ve had the misfortune of hearing unsolicited pitches from networKINGs, social media queens, and rainmakers (all self-proclaimed) when all I wanted was to learn more about their background and to have a conversation–not to listen to a long-winded diatribe. Meaningful connections require meaningful exchanges.”

This is definitely a strong opposing point to the idea behind confronting powerful people with your ideas in elevators, but how about when you can’t get a sit down meeting with the higher ups? What do you do in that situation, business professionals? Get to us in the comments!



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