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3 Signs Your Elevator Pitch is Too Loud

The instant I start the exercise,

I know I’ve made a huge mistake.

The noise is deafening.

Very uncomfortable.

I can barely hear myself think.

I co-direct a leadership weekend for high school juniors.

This Circle of Friendship seemed like a promising new program.

Now I’m not so sure.

I scan the crowd.

Looking for disgruntled faces.

Frantically thinking of other ways we could spend the hour.

Slowly it dawns on me.

I can’t find an unhappy face.

One hundred students engaged in conversation.



Having a blast.

Making new friends.

I’m the only one with a headache.

We’ve run lots of programs at this camp over the years.

I have never gotten immediate feedback on an individual program.

Until this one.

Three students approach me separately that afternoon.

“Circle of friendship was awesome. Definitely keep that program.”

They do have a suggestion.

The room was just a little too warm.

Otherwise perfect.

And I was about to abort the program because it was too loud…

Shows what I know.

Circle of Friendship was not what I wanted.

I still have a headache thinking about it.

It was exactly what they wanted.

I succeeded despite myself.

So here’s the question for you:

Is your Elevator Pitch about what you want…

Or about what your prospects want?

Here are 3 Signs that your Elevator Pitch is Too Loud

1. Eyes Glaze Over

When you’re 17 it’s called making friends. Passion. Excitement. The room’s abuzz.

Ten years later it’s called Business Networking. Dry, drab, and predictable.


It doesn’t have to be.

Rescue us!

Start conversations.

Share your passion.

Find people who are excited to talk about themselves in the context of you.

Make plans to continue the conversation.

Why do prospects look forward to your next conversation?

2. Crickets

Suddenly, without warning, on one of my first webinars, my well-intentioned host opened up the phone lines for questions.

What did we hear?


It was as quiet as a hot summer night (and just as uncomfortable).


Engaged prospects ask questions and share stories.

“How do you do that?”

“How much does that cost?”

“Do you handle this other thing as well?”

“I ran into that just the other day…”

What questions are your prospects asking?

3. Cold Calling

You attend networking events.

You collect business cards.

You dutifully follow up.

They don’t recognize your name.

They don’t return your calls.

It feels like cold calling.

Only worse.

Because you’ve actually met these people.

Why don’t they remember?

Because you’re talking too much about you and not enough about them.

How do you make your Elevator Pitch about them?

One comment on “3 Signs Your Elevator Pitch is Too Loud

  1. Hello Andy,

    One of the takeaways I get out of this article is building rapport and relationships – all based on a certain kind of deep listening.

    I also very much appreciate what you shared about your Circle of Friendship exercise and how it was what the other party wanted, not what you wanted. That is so key. And how to figure out what others want? Listen.

    Thanks for the pithy reminders!

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