Last Updated on 13 April 2011

It’s important to have an “elevator speech.” A 30-second summary of what you’re working on to tell the boss… When meeting new people, a quick way to summarize the value of your company and what you do.

It can be challenging to boil down what you do into a short blurb… For inspiration, I suggest paying attention to the 30-second narrations at the beginning of TV shows.

At the start of each episode producers deliver the swift backstory and premise of the show. If this was our first viewing, we would understand what makes the show worth attention.

This is EXACTLY what you need for YOUR elevator pitch… What’s your 30-second blurb? Your backstory that builds awareness of the premise of you (or your project, company, etc…) and lets me know why you’re worth my attention?

For inspiration, here is the text… and some clips from some classic TV show “elevator pitches.” I’ve put mine at the bottom of this page…

Read and listen to these as if they were your own backstory. Ask yourself… Is mine as engaging? Would it make your customers want to tune in week after week?

Update: I’m sorry so many of these clips are no longer valid. Looks like the networks have asked YouTube to take them down. You can still read the intro if you can’t see the clip. I’m going to try to find new clips!

My Name Is Earl

(:30 seconds)

You know the kinda guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks?

Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me something bad was always waiting around the corner.


That’s when I realized I had to change.

So I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done and, one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes.

I’m just trying to be a better person.

My name is Earl.

The A-Team

(20 seconds)

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit.

These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.

If you have a problem. If no one else can help. And if you can find them. Maybe you can hire…

The A-Team.

The Incredible Hulk

(1 minute :08 seconds)

Doctor David Banner. Physician. Scientist. Searching for a way to tap into the hidden strength that all humans have.

Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry.

And now when David Banner grows angry or outraged a startling metamorphosis occurs.

The creative is driven by rage and pursued by an investigative reporter*.

“Mr. McGee… don’t make me angry… You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

The creature is wanted for a murder he didn’t commit.

David Banner is believed to be dead, and he must let the world think that he is dead until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him.

Star Trek

(:30 seconds)

Space, the final frontier.

These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Its five year mission: to explore strange new worlds… to seek out new life… and new civilizations…

To boldly go where no man has gone before!

Bosom Buddies

Henry: When we first moved to New York we had a great apartment that was dirt cheap.

Kip: And we found out why it was so cheap (wrecking ball breaks through walls of apartment building).

Henry: Our friend Amy said there was a great apartment in her building. Dirt Cheap.

Kip: But it’s a hotel for women. OK! We made one adjustment. (Henry and Kip are dressed as women).

Henry: Now these other ladies know us as Buffy and Hildegarde.

Kip: But they also know us as Kip and Henry, Buffy and Hildy’s brothers. I’m crazy about the blonde.

Henry: This experience is going to make a great book.

Kip: See it’s all perfectly normal.

(Theme Music: “My Life” by Billy Joel)

Six Million Dollar Man

1 minute, 20 seconds

Opens with video of Steve Austin crashing while test piloting an aircraft.

Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him.

WE have the technology.

We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man.

Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before.

Better. Stronger. Faster.

Even more…

As typical… the Internet is a storehouse of information you never knew existed.

Here is a link to a site called TV Acres that has a comprehensive listing of TV show narrations

Idea Sandbox Elevator Pitch

(:20 seconds)

Problem Solver Paul Williams. Creative. Clever. Searching for a way to tap into the hidden strength that all humans have. (Imagination)

To boldly go where no brand has gone before!

WE have the technology.

We have the capability to make the world’s best iconic brand.

Yours can be that brand. Better than it was before.

Better. Stronger. Faster.

If you have a problem. If no one else can help. And if you can find me. Maybe you can hire…

My name is Idea Sandbox.

Paul: This experience is going to make a great book.

I made that faux elevator pitch using lines from many of the TV shows…

*I never understood why David Banner was so afraid of the investigative reporter. I’ve worked with many reporters over the years. While they ask some tough questions – none of them have inspired me to flee from town to town…