Project Management

Do you need to sell your project to key stakeholders? Design project elevator pitch!

From the Female Element Blog
Female Element blog is about experience and current trends in project management, digitalization and agile organizational transformation seen by eyes of a woman. Why to distinguish such view? Female and male brain operates differently and we may have various interpretations for the same situation. Female leadership is a thing and should be recognised. But mostly because more inclusivity for women is good for all aspects of business and we still have way to go.

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Categories: Communication, Leadership

Elevator pitch is a technique how to introduce yourself, your company or a product in a short, spot-on and engaging way. Why not use it when presenting the project, you’re currently working on?  We all need to sell and promote our projects from time to time so it’s better to be ready when it needs to happen. Having your elevator pitch ready may help you to impress potential team members, get attention of key stakeholders or make users of your future project outcomes interested and engaged.

The elevator pitch is actually named after average length of an elevator ride, which is assumed to take 30-60 seconds. To make sure that you can deliver your elevator project pitch on time, the best is to write it down and practice.


1. Summarize how does your project create value

When thinking about the value, imagine what should change after the project is delivered and what is the issue or problem you are trying to solve.

I was recently chatting with my friend and he told me that he works on a project of leukemia cure and rolling it all over the world. It made me instantly jealous that I'm not part of his team.

His job title is IT Integration Manager. He works with SW solutions and he could as well talk just about that. But what matters is why are those software applications in place and what is their purpose - to get the treatment to patients.

2. Explain main project outputs

When it comes to describing which capabilities, products, services or other deliverables the project will create, stay focused on end results and avoid too much detail. Remember 30 seconds!

3. Share the goals of your project elevator pitch

After you summarized the project value and outcomes, say clearly what you’re looking for from the person you are talking to. Don’t let people guess because you may miss your opportunity.

Are you hoping to schedule a meeting to discuss the project further because you need a specific input or support? Do you wish to get that expert on board? Just say it.

4. Put it all together and practice

Write down your points and practice to see if you can make in a 30-60 seconds time with clear articulation. Avoid use of too much of specific terms to ensure that your audience will understand you even without being experts in your field.


Hope to see some examples from you!!

Posted on: November 07, 2018 03:45 PM | Permalink

Comments (20)

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Great suggestion! Its like an spoken executive summary. I participate on a weekly call where I have to give a summary on a number of projects, in a timeslot of around 10 minutes. Having a prepared summary helps greatly and can give others more confidence in your level of knowledge and competency.

Great points, Lenka. Your first point on the generated value was my initial thought when clicking on the title to read the post.

This is Sales 101.

You MUST find that pain point. It comes from asking questions.

Traditional Planning Assumes -
1. Stakeholder/Customer can DESCRIBE exactly what they want.
2. Stakeholder/Customer KNOWS exactly what they want.
3. Stakeholder/Customer can give you a COMPLETE LIST OF EVERY FEATURE needed for the project/service.
4. Stakeholder/Customer can provide this level of detail WITHOUT EVER SEEING THE END PRODUCT.

NEVERTHELESS: Most of the time, they have difficulty describing what they need with a "I'll know it when I see it" response.

You have to hit those pain points and tell the story in your pitch that is relevant to get their buy-in.

Great article!!

@William you’re right, addressing the pain is driving the change and that’s why when you’re thinking about the project elevator pitch, you should first focus on what problem is the project solving. People need to relate to your project to give you their attention. Thanks for your comment!

Thank your for sharing your insight with us. I have heard about the importance of an elevator pitch for years, but this is one of the few times I have seen a useful way to create one.

Lenka, Elevator pitch is always gives nice overview! Thanks for sharing!

Interesting approach

Great point about value and purpose. That’s what inspires people and gets them excited about the project!

Good one Lenka. An elevator pitch should always be prepared because you never know which stakeholder will throw a curve ball at you like "what's the point of this project?"

Interesting post.
Thanks for sharing!!

Hire me please. I need to get out of the house.

Good psot, elevator pitch also gives an insight into the individual's involvement in the project

Great points, Lenka. Thanks for sharing.
An example:
1) Identify the person/stakeholder I am engaging with - A Sales Team member.
2) Outline the project's goal - improve Order Fulfillment rates by 20% by when.
3) Engage with a question - How satisfied are customers with our products and services in terms of quality, speed, and visibility?
4) Explain to the Sales member that how the Project Team is working to achieve these value propositions. Ask for his/her thoughts and suggestions.
5) Practice on the benefits and impacts that the project bring to other functions to be prepared for future engagement.

@ Panx, thanks for the example!

@Al, also an example? :)

Lenka, useful points thank you. A version of the elevator pitch can also be useful with project team members to re-focus during long or difficult projects.
For the classic elevator pitch, you may also need to prepare more than one version depending on who you are talking to - specific aspects of the project value and the outputs (as well as the 'ask') may need to be tuned to your captive elevator audience!

thanks for sharing

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