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3 best practices to explain what your business does in 90 seconds


So, you have 90 seconds to impress somebody and tell them all about your business. What do you say to them? Where do you even start? Sometimes one chance is all you’ve got – so you better make good use of it. But how?

Personally, I’d get all fidgety. My mind would literally freeze for a few seconds when I found myself in front of a group of people I was supposed to impress. But with a few simple and practical tips I managed to overcome this mental block. And not only that… Stay tuned.

Although 90 seconds may not seem enough, believe me – you can say everything you need to say in 90 seconds – or even less. That is – if you know how to do it.

The 90-second rule is there for a reason. It’s the optimum amount of time people you don’t know will be able to follow you – and decide whether you’re worth their time or not. Around 60 to 90 seconds is all you need to craft a good elevator pitch which will impress or un-impress a prospective business partner or potential customer.

Here’s the definition of elevator pitch by

Very concise presentation of an idea covering all of its critical aspects, and delivered within a few seconds (the approximate duration of an elevator ride).

Basically you have 3 ways to showcase your business in 90 seconds:

  1. In-person: an elevator pitch at a networking event,
  2. Brief presentation with just a few slides,
  3. Short explainer video.

And here’s what you should do.


Take a piece of paper and write down the answers to the following 5 questions:

  • How does my business stand out?
  • Why makes us unique?
  • What is our goal?
  • What have we accomplished so far?
  • Where am I in this story?

One sentence per each question will suffice. With such a short timeframe, you don’t want to bore people to death with statistics and numbers. If answered properly, these questions can be your guideline to a perfect elevator pitch.


The rule of the first sentence

The beginning is always crucial, whether you present your business using video, in person or with the help of slides. That first sentence can make or break a deal, or a potential partnership. Everybody starts off with the name of their company and with their name. But that is so outdated. No one actually cares about that. Your name can wait – but what can’t wait is your chance to wow someone you admire or want to work with. A good rule of thumb is to bring out the best you’ve got at the very beginning. Get creative – use humor, make them wonder who you are. This way people will remember you better, and who knows – it might even help you close a deal.

Keep it short and snappy

This goes for all of the above-mentioned methods. Don’t give away too much at the very start. Tell them just enough to spark the interest and to make them want to know more. People often get lost with their thoughts and start talking about all sort of things. While this may be interesting to you and to your colleagues, you can’t expect it from people who barely know you. In the business world, time is money – so make sure you don’t waste anyone’s time.


The Ultimate Guide to Explainer Videos download

Short slideshow

If you choose to present your business using a slideshow presentation, make sure you do the following:

Start by defining the goal of your presentation.

What is the message you want to convey? What would you like your audience to feel and do once you’re finished?

Focus on the visuals

Focus on the visuals.

People prefer images over text, and if you want to keep their attention make sure you avoid large chunks of text on one slide. Also, avoid stats and numbers when presenting your business – unless they’re really something. Nobody will remember that anyway.

Keep it simple

Use simple templates and colors and fonts that are easy to see. Don’t let your audience squint through the whole presentation.

End your presentation with a subtle call-to-action.

You don’t want to make it too obvious that you’re selling yourself but you do want to instruct your audience on what they should do next – if they want to achieve ‘this and that’.


Short video

Last but not least – you can effectively present and promote your business using a short video. A good explainer video can do wonders. Even though you can make a video by yourself, if you’re not entirely sure how to do this you can always leave that to the professionals. If you decide to use a professional video production company it would take at least 5-6 experts to create a high-quality presentation video for your company. And you wouldn’t be making decisions on your own –  you’d have a whole team to consult with.

video has 5 key advantages over the previous two methods

Plus, video has 5 key advantages over the previous two methods:

  1. With video you can get 100% viewership.
  2. Cost-effective: saves travel costs – in case you can’t make it to an event and still want to present your company.
  3. Persuasive: using the combination of sound, images and text video allows you to tell your story and express ideas in an amusing and engaging way.
  4. Time-saving: with video – 90 seconds is 90 seconds.
  5. Last but not least: video is always the perfect elevator pitch – it works every time all the time and you don’t need to practice anything!

Which one you opt for usually depends on the kind of event you’re attending. Whether you need to present your business at a trade show, business conference, or some other industry event – make sure you come prepared!

What’s your secret recipe for explaining what your business does in 90 second? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section.

If you’d like to learn more about explainer videos, go ahead and download our ebook!

The Ultimate Guide to Explainer Videos download