Developing your elevator pitch

Published on: Oct 19, 2022

elevator pitch
Photo credit: Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock

In a large conference like AGU Fall Meeting, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of posters.

Making your poster stand out doesn’t only depend on the visuals of the actual poster but with what you present to an interested spectator. The “elevator pitch” can draw in the audience’s interest and can lead to further discussions and connections.

The term comes from an imaginary scenario in which you are on an elevator with some person who could be important to your career. You have just the length of the elevator ride to explain what you do and to make yourself memorable to this person. Your “elevator pitch” is how you will introduce yourself and your science in a quick conversation with someone new. You could deliver your elevator pitch in front of your poster or, perchance, in an elevator ride.

Ideally, your pitch should be a one- or two-sentence summary of your research that hits on why you are doing your research. It's meant to be brief and understood by a general audience. Avoid using jargon, you can go into the details of your work once your audience shows further interest or asks questions.

To help develop your elevator pitch, AGU’s Sharing Science provides a worksheet to get you started.

Sharing Science has also created other resources to help you communicate your science.