10x Your Elevator Pitch With 4 Words

10x Your Elevator Pitch With 4 Words

We’ve been thinking about elevator pitches all wrong.

I can’t memorize your elevator pitch. Neither can your mom, the other companies in the building, or your customers.

Yet we are all going to try to explain what you do!

We may even talk you up to friends and try to send business your way.

Your company elevator pitch is like a game of Telephone. You tell someone, they repeat it to the next person, and so on.

This repeats 10 times until you hear from a stranger that there’s an awesome new company that makes technology for purple ducks who drive space cars. And it’s your company!

So what happens?

It’s hard to remember and summarize a thing. Especially if you don’t spend all day, every day explaining it.  Especially if there’s complexity, nuance, or fancy jargon words.

So here’s my challenge (a request really — help me easily share your company!) to all the elevator pitchers…

Can you explain your company in 4 words or less?

Why You Need A 4 Word Pitch

In case my Telephone game example didn’t resonate, here are 3 ways a short phrase pitch can help your business.

1. Help others pitch for you

I probably say, “Do you know CompanyXYZ, they do <4 word phrase>?” 50 times per day.

Your mom says, “My child does <4 word phrase>,” 100 times per day.

If you don’t give us that 4 word phrase, we’re going to make up our own. (And it won’t be pretty!)

2. Make it easy to “get it”

If someone asks what do you do, give them an “ah-ha” moment as quickly as possible.

A 3 minute explanation is weird, hard to follow, and comes across as sloppy at best, unintelligent at worst.

One sign of intelligence is communicating complex ideas in simple ways.

3. Peak someone’s interest

What would you rather have — someone’s eyes glazing over or a curious follow up question?

With a short overview phrase, your audience can quickly assess if they want to know more or want to move on to a different topic. If you “force” a long winded explanation, it’s a missed opportunity for connection.

What Makes A Great 4 Word Pitch

The best 4 word pitches are a memorable, understandable overview phrase of what you do.

It will not be complete. It will feel WAY simplified to you as the founder (“we do so much more!”). But people will easily remember it and that’s important.

You’re striving for:

  • People “get it” right away
  • Easy to remember
  • Normal words (PLEASE NO: “Management logistics discovery platform”)

It can (and will) evolve over time.

Feel free to test out different variations to see when people have an “ah-ha” moment vs. blank stare.

It’s also a great thought exercise and forcing function.

Do you understand who you are and what you do? Are you focused or trying to be too broad?

Here’s the thing — if you can’t come up with a 4 word description (as the expert of the business), how is someone else going to?

How To Use Your 4 Word Pitch

  • Open every “what do you do?” conversation with your 4 word description of your company.
  • Put it on your website.
  • Include it in your investor update.
  • Write it down for your mom. (The moms are sellin’ for ya!)

Need Help On Your 4 Word Pitch?

How do you come up with a 4 word pitch?

Tune in next week, where we talk through 5 strategies for finding your 4 words and give examples of real life companies that crush it!


What makes it easy for you to remember a company pitch or description? Have you found that shorter explanations work better or do you disagree??