Authors Elevator Pitch

At the FPRA workshop, Erin McLeod led three classes on creating your elevator pitch. Erin is the Chief Operating Officer for Senior Friendship Centers, Inc., serving six counties in Southwest Florida. She holds a degree in public relations and public speaking from the University of Florida, with intensive coursework in nonprofit management.

Erin’s philosophy on today’s elevator pitch covers three main areas:

  • Efficient
  • Confident
  • Conversational


Keep your elevator pitch under thirty-five words. Introduce yourself and explain why you approached the individual. Include their name while doing so.

Example: “Hello Mr. Jones. I am Ron Knight, author of several thriller novels. I understand that you are a literary agent for Weisman Associates.”


What are the top three things you want remembered in the short conversation? (About you as an author.)


  1. My name, Ron Knight, is my brand and I want it to be remembered.
  2. I am a novelist that has written thrillers for all ages.
  3. My style of writing is quick, explosive paragraphs and chapters.


Ask a short, thoughtful question that shows you know something about them or their company that can be answered in a few words. What is the one most important goal you want to accomplish with your elevator pitch?

“I understand that you represent authors in the thriller genre. Are you currently accepting queries?”

Close with a brief recognition of their name and thank them for the time.

“I appreciate you taking a few moments with me, Mr. Jones.”

Be efficient and smooth with your words, show confidence with a brief statement, and make sure they understand that you are interested by using their name at least twice.

The key to any great elevator pitch is to practice. Attend networking meetings where you are forced to introduce yourself to the group and explain who you are in thirty seconds. You will also have a social time, where you can introduce yourself to several others, face-to-face.

Be ready with more than one elevator pitch. Customize each pitch, depending on whom you are speaking with. You may be at a writing conference that has agents, publishers, established authors, publishing lawyers, PR agencies, marketing firms, and readers. You will need an elevator pitch for each conversation.

A thirty-second introduction can launch your career to the next level.

Ron Knight  

Erin McLeod, COO, Senior Friendship Centers, Inc. 


Ron Knight

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