What is an elevator pitch in a presentation

What is a presentation about? Shortened, you could say that you first want to attract the attention of the audience. After that, it’s all about creating a deeper interest in your presentation topicthat triggers an emotion in your viewers. Ideally, this will then lead to an action you want. This scheme is old hat, so to speak, but still works great today. We know this setup from elevator positioning, the elevator pitch. 

Are you ready for a little test? 
Please try to summarize in a few sentences what your next presentation will be about. What is the Core of your messages and what do you want viewers to take away? Can you sum it up succinctly? 

You need to know yourself exactly what your presentation is about.

If you floundered during this little exercise, it’s a sign that you need to get the gist of your presentation more accurately. If you can’t name the key messages, it will be hard for you to clearly structure your presentation and the individual slides.


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The Elevator Pitch is a helpful way to get to the heart of your presentation topics.

The Elevator Pitch originated in the USA. The goal behind it was,  enable a sales representative to convince customers or decision-makers of his or her value proposition for the duration of an elevator ride. Since even in skyscrapers the time in the elevator is usually no more than 60 seconds, all important information had to be conveyed briefly and comprehensibly in this time span. Salespeople were trained to get to the point. This was so successful that the principle of the Elevator Pitch is now used worldwide. You can use the structure and principles of this technique to prepare your presentation. This will give you the clarity you need at the very beginning of your PowerPoint presentation preparations to give your slides and your dramaturgy a convincing structure.

The structure of an elevator pitch and how to use the structure for your presentation

What do you want to say to your audience, in what way, and with what desired effect? You should know this before you design the first slide. Use the individual steps of the Elevator Pitch to prepare.

The elevator positioning or elevator pitch is divided into four steps:

Step 1: Create attention

Why should your audience listen to you? What do you want to offer? When you start your presentation, you should arouse your audience’s curiosity about what is about to come. This has to be really good, otherwise you’ll only have half the attention right from the start. What could you announce? A world first? A completely new way of looking at a subject? What do you want to use to generate interest?

Step 2: Arouse interest

What hard facts and information can you offer? What do you use to support the expectations you created in step 1? Work out the important key messages that are essential to get across.

Step 3: Trigger emotions

Hard facts are important, but only half the battle. You need to get to the feelings of your audience. What feelings would be desirable for your presentation goal? Joy? Fear? Outrage? Greed? 

Step 4: Call To Action  

You should always include a call to action at the end of your presentation. After all, you don’t just want your audience to be passively sprinkled by you. The audience should be prompted to take an action that is in your best interest. This can start with little things, like signing up for your newsletter. It could also be buying a product or signing up for training. It’s important that you don’t leave it up to the audience to make the right moves. They should already call for action. 


If you are good at summing up your goal and approach to preparing your PowerPoint presentation, you will also know exactly what information needs to go on your slides and what is unnecessary. In the early stages of planning, be really goal-oriented and be specific about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.


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