According to the late author and motivational speaker Zig Zigler, “success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” You never know when you might cross paths with someone who could impact your career or become your next big client. So, it’s important to have a well-crafted “elevator pitch” ready to go when you need to introduce yourself on the fly.
It’s called an “elevator pitch” because you should be able to recite it in the time it takes to ride an elevator from the bottom to the top floor. So, if you run into a potential business contact on an elevator, you want to be able to introduce yourself with the most important information before they or you reach your floor and have to exit.
On average, at a regular conversation speed, people speak at a rate of 150 words per minute, and according to an article from the Harvard Business Review, the average elevator ride is about 118 seconds. That means if you run into a potential new business contact on an elevator—or any of a wide variety of similarly time-crunched situations—you only have about two minutes to explain in enough detail why they should be in business with you.