How to Make Your Case in 30 Seconds or Less

An elevator pitch can help capture an investor's attention, open the door to a job, or win vital support for a new project.

by Nick Wreden

Nick Wreden is the author of Fusion Branding: Strategic Branding for the Customer Economy. He can be reached at hmcl@hbsp.harvard.edu.

In 1994, Barnett Helzberg, Jr. was walking by The Plaza Hotel in New York City when he heard a woman hail Warren Buffett. Helzberg approached the legendary investor and said, “Hi, Mr. Buffett. I'm a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway and a great admirer of yours. I believe that my company matches your criteria for investment.”

“Send me more details,” Buffett replied. A year later, Helzberg sold ...

Get HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.