11/21/2014 04:40 pm ET Updated Jan 21, 2015

4 Tips for Crafting an Effective Elevator Pitch

As a publicist, my day revolves around pitching. From pitching my clients to the media to pitching my business to potential new clients, I spend hours each day carefully crafting statements and ideas that quickly communicate key business messages. I can confidently say that out of all of the pitches that cross my desk on a daily basis, the elevator pitch is by far the most important.

A good elevator pitch is succinctly delivered, easily understood and can be used in all aspects of business. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your elevator pitch:

  • Keep it short -- Nothing is worse than being cut off, especially when you're trying to deliver an important message. Try to keep your elevator pitch to just a few carefully crafted sentences. Any extra time left after delivering your pitch will give the audience the chance to ask questions (which allow you to fine-tune future pitches).
  • Keep it simple -- It is important to remember that not everyone speaks your industry's language. Craft your pitch so that it is both easy for you to deliver and for listeners to digest.
  • Cut the buzzwords -- Words such as 'innovative' and 'unique' are overused and often times a turnoff for the audience. Instead of using buzzwords to describe your business, take the time to craft a sentence about what makes your business 'innovative' or 'unique,' and let the listener pick up on it indirectly.
  • Practice, practice, practice -- Your elevator pitch is only as good as your ability to deliver it. You and your team should rehearse the pitch and be ready to confidently communicate it at any given time.

A good elevator pitch can be effective across all business functions, but is particularly useful in marketing, sales and public relations. Do you have an elevator pitch? Share it in the comments below.

Gillian dreams big. After years of working under successful and inspirational women, she woke up one day at age 27 realizing she wanted more out of her career. The result of her revelation is Gillian Small Public Relations, a small business offering high-quality PR services at an affordable price.