An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that is a way of introducing oneself and sparking interest in one’s creative ideas. The name comes from the amount of time it should take to deliver. If you’re an educator of high school or college-aged students, you can consider using this technique in the classroom! Whether it be for a project your students are working on or preparing them for their future, students will surely benefit from these 20 unique activities.
1. Record Yourself
Out of the five steps in this activity, the most unique step is to record yourself. After students have crafted their pitch, they record themselves and then watch the video back in order to determine what they did well and what they need to work on.
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2. Elevator Pitch Worksheet
This free resource is the perfect way to help your students understand what an elevator pitch is. It lists the various components of an elevator speech and even provides a few example pitches. Use this when introducing the concept to your students.
Learn More: California State University San Bernardino
3. Make it a Workshop
Instead of one lesson, consider making a workshop out of elevator pitches. Elevator pitches give your students so much to benefit from yet they can be rather difficult to get started with. Therefore, don’t rush through the content and allow your students to work on this over a longer period.
Learn More: National Association of Colleges and Employers
4. Flipped Classroom Model
Consider having your students brainstorm their elevator pitches at home prior to the lesson. Then, during class, students can share their pitches with each other and ask for feedback. A flipped classroom model like this increases student engagement.
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5. Use Flipgrid
After students craft their elevator pitch, they can use the free, video-based tool to record themselves giving their speech. Afterward, Flipgrid allows students to watch and comment on each others’ videos to provide feedback.
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6. Prepare Multiple Pitches
In this activity, your students will create three different speeches. It’s beneficial to have multiple pitches planned for unique scenarios. After all, no situation in life is ever going to be the same.
Learn More: University of Maryland
7. Team Ice Breaker Activity
Instead of having your students work individually and create separate elevator pitches, consider following this model and allowing your students to work in teams to create and give an elevator pitch. Teamwork can help students overcome their fears of public speaking.
Learn More: Skills of the Modern Age
8. Use an Elevator Pitch to Share Your Research
Research activities are something that almost every student does at one point or another in their academic career. They can make your student stand out for a job or college opportunity. Students should create an elevator pitch based on the research they have conducted to hopefully share in the future.
Learn More: Teach Psych Science
9. Use a Hook
A good skill for students to learn is to establish a speech with a hook. If they resonate with their audience, they are more likely to be remembered. Using a hook will enable them to aptly portray their message to a given audience and captivate their interest.
Learn More: Word Stream
10. Add Captivating Details
Continuing on with the previous example, it’s very important for students to be remembered when they give their elevator speeches. In this activity, students will learn that by adding captivating details such as a quick story, they are more likely to be remembered.
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11. Shark Tank Project
The show, “Shark Tank” offers an opportunity where people to pitch their ideas in a short speech. After watching some examples from the show, have your students work on this Shark Tank Presentation.
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12. Give Multiple Examples
Since each of your students is different, so are their pitches. Give your students options to create different pitches by providing them with this resource that includes 13 different examples.
Learn More: Word Stream
13. Fill in the Blank Template
This resource will help students create an elevator pitch by filling in the blanks of a mad-libs-type activity. It’s perfect for when you have less time in the classroom or if your students need more support.
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14. Watch a How To Video
This video by Professor Heather Austin offers five tips to create your own perfect elevator pitch. Showing a video in class is an engaging and innovative way to learn about an elevator pitch.
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15. Pitch to a CEO
In this lesson plan, students will produce a video of themselves pitching to a CEO of a company. Who knows, this could make its way to a real-life CEO!
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16. Incorporate the Past, Present, and Future
This resource explains the importance of including present, past, and future statements in a pitch. Students should make it known where they are now, where have they been, and where are they going.
Learn More: St. Norbert College
17. Watch the “Best Elevator Pitch” of the World
This video will give your students an idea of what a good sales pitch looks like. Students are often very engaged by videos so this could be a great way to introduce elevator pitches.
Learn More: Youtube
18. Sell Yourself
This activity has your students introduce themselves to the class and give you an idea of what their pitching skills are like. This could be useful as an icebreaker activity as well.
Learn More: Let’s Get Down to Business
19. Set Up Student Appointments
In this activity, instead of students performing their elevator pitches in front of the class, set up 10-minute appointments with just you and the student so they can feel less nervous and you can have more time to give feedback.
Learn More: University of Sussex
20. Marketing a Food Truck
This super fun activity is a great way to get students thinking about branding and marketing. Students can present their pitches to each other in a fun “pitch-off”!
Learn More: The Pretty Little Classroom