3 tips on how to make a lousy impression

… when giving your Elevator Speech

Hi There

Last week I was invited to a network lunch.

  • Guests: entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: networking.


I couldn’t refuse – I love the topic and the target audience.

Food was good, ambiance was good. Venue was good. Guests were pretty interesting.

So what went wrong?

Nothing really.
However, boy oh boy, do lots of people still need a training in bringing a sparkling elevator pitch. And you know what? I’m giving such a live training on April 20 in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium – lucky them, lucky you, lucky me 🙂

No really. We all had 1 minute to present ourselves, ie our companies.

Honestly, I cannot say it differently, some of my fellow guests did a lousy job presenting themselves and their companies. I do not want to sound rude, but it was boring, well actually their elevator speeches or pitches were boring – really sorry to say so.

Now ok, I’m being very severe – a good thing is that we were all present at this networking event. Good!! A lot of entrepreneurs are afraid of networking and avoid it. These people didn’t. Great. Good job, Bub 🙂

And another thing: only those who do nothing make no mistakes…

Anyway, regarding these mistakes, I will list a 3 of them, in order for us to avoid them in the future.

So, herewith the 3 tips to make a lousy impression with your Elevator Pitch:


  1. Way too long

We are talking elevator pitches or elevator speeches here. The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary of who you are and what you do in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. We had 1 minute. And NOBODY respected that timeframe.

People stop listening after 11 words, unless you sound like you’re reeling off a memorized speech, in which case they stop listening after just 3 words. Apparently.

Now you understand why it was kind of boring.

  1. It’s not about you

This is one of my favorites. Personal Branding is not about you, it’s about your target audience. Same thing for the Elevator Pitch. Stop telling how great you are and in how many countries you work and how many years of experience you have….

You have to put yourself in the shoes of your listener and think about the challenges they face and how you might solve them. Or you might talk about your ideal client and how you can help him/her solve their questions. NOBODY did. Instead we heard long monologues about them and their companies.

  1. Being unprepared

When you are unprepared and improvise, chances are you make a lousy impression, because you can’t remember what you wanted to say, or you ramble on and annoy us with irrelevant details. And what’s even worse, you are running the risk of really embarrassing yourself AND the listener. Nobody loves to see somebody embarrass himself/herself, or at least I don’t. So please don’t do that.

How to avoid these and other Elevator Pitch mistakes?

These and many other mistakes are made at every networking event I’ve been to. You can avoid them and thereby stand out from the competition.


By following a few best practices. An elevator pitch doesn’t need to be learned by heart, salesy, crappy. It should be different, compelling, attractive.

And we can teach you all you need to know about elevator pitches.

*** You are kindly invited to join our live workshop “Make an Everlasting Positive Impression with your Elevator Pitch” on April 20, 7PM (CET) in Boortmeerbeek (near Brussels).***

And how about you: what tips do you have to make a lousy impression when giving your elevator speech?



love to hear your thoughts, questions, worries, ideas… contact me +32.478.39.02.69 or leave a reply below

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