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First, let’s watch this terrible 1-minute pitch.

It’s full of all sorts of elevator pitch mistakes, so keep an eye out!

(click to watch the video)

Before we get to all the elevator pitch mistakes in this terrible elevator pitch, one thing I think we can all agree on. I cannot act! – though I was once described as ‘charming’ in a school play of Romeo & Juliet (I played Paris, the guy Juliet didn’t love. SAD!)

So, with that out of the way, let’s remind ourselves what the purpose of an Elevator Pitch actually is, with a great quote from legendary marketing guru, Seth Godin, a man even balder than me!

Your Elevator Pitch is your message to the world.

You have to make it count because in this modern world crammed with huge distractions and short attention spans, if you cannot explain what you do in a way that is concise and compelling, your message will be lost.

You miss out on sales you should otherwise close, opportunities you should otherwise convert, and instead of convincing potential customers, you’ll be sending them to your competition.

So, let’s examine this clown’s pitch. We’ll start with the 8 obvious elevator pitch mistakes that you probably spotted already:

(This week’s free download is the Elevator Pitch Cheat Sheet: 5 Steps to an effective Elevator Pitch – you’ll definitely want this if you recognise any of these mistakes in yourself)

1) What on earth is he wearing?

This guy is meant to be an accountant. But would you trust him with your money? A pink hat! Really! (Yes it is mine, but that’s not the point).

Your Elevator Pitch is all about first impressions and your appearance is a big part of that. It doesn’t mean that all pitches must be given in a suit or a power dress. But your attire should at least not conflict with the message you wish to give.

2) No eye contact

The problem with the shades isn’t just that they’re white! (Who wears white shades?)

It’s that they stop our accountant making any eye contact with his audience, which is a key method of establishing a connection.

If you don’t connect with people, they will not engage with you or your pitch.

3) Dumb smartphone

Holding and reading from a phone seems to be a thing with youngsters and Millenials (like me… ahem ?).

Don’t do it. Didn’t your mama tell you that looking at your phone whilst talking to someone is rude?

4) Talking too much

This was so hard I had to do a few takes (cos I really am not an actor). Could you follow what he was talking about? I couldn’t and I was the one speaking.

Just because you only have a minute, doesn’t justify cramming so much in that no one can follow you.

(nearly half way through: Cheat Sheet reminder!. Don’t forget the free download)

5) Jargon

According to our wonderful accountant, Jackson Jeremiah Jethro III, he is ” a CPA with an MBA, and a PHD with an MSC”

I guess these aren’t too complicated, but can he be sure everyone knows exactly what those stand for?

Never use jargon words like reconceptualizedemassification, attitudinallyjudgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass – David Oglivy

Make your Elevator Pitch relatable. Keep it clear and simple enough to be understood by a 9-year-old grandson and a 90-year-old grandmother.

6) Too much movement

This guy just looks shifty. There’s far too much moving around and this makes him look untrustworthy.

7) The lame catchphrase

Jackson Jeremiah Jethro III’s tagline is ‘Making Accountancy Great Again’. Now, that is just awesome if you like your Elevator Pitch with a double dose of cheese.

But most ordinary folks only like cheese on a pizza or crackers. So cut out the cheesy catchphrases and keep it real.

8) Asking too much

Remember, your Elevator Pitch is the start of a conversation, not the endpoint. If you ask for far too much too soon (as our funny accountant does), you’ll just be putting people off. After all, you wouldn’t propose on a first date, would you?

elevator pitch mistakes

Keep your ask small but meaningful!

So, those were the easy obvious elevator pitch mistakes. Did you get all 8? Want to see the full list of 17 Elevator Pitch mistakes? See below.

(We both know at least one person that could benefit from knowing about these Elevator Pitch mistakes. Before you click, could you do me and them a favour and share this article with them. Thx.)


(and don’t forget to grab your free Elevator Pitch Cheat Sheet)

If you run a business or you’ve got a great idea, don’t let anyone convince you that ‘if you build it, they will come’. If you do not share your message to the world in a way that is concise and compelling, people won’t buy into it. Your elevator pitch has to be sharp and powerful.

Are you making these same Elevator Pitch Mistakes?

Elevator Pitch School launches on 26th October and enrolment is open for just 5 days so I can devote give all my attention to entrepreneurs, who are really ready to supercharge their message. If you download my Cheat Sheet, you’ll be the first to hear when it goes live. Hope to see you at school!

elevator pitch mistakes

Kolarele Sonaike


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