If you’re an entrepreneur or businessperson, you probably know what an elevator speech is. If not, here’s the gist: an elevator speech (or elevator pitch) is a quick summary of your business idea that you can deliver in less than a couple of minutes. The name comes from the possibility that you might someday share an elevator with someone who is in a position to invest in your idea, and if you can sell them on it in the time it takes to ride to your respective floors, then you’ve succeeded.

For a while there, elevator speeches were all the rage; people took seminars on how to write and deliver their elevator speech, and some of them got very good at cramming a lot of info in a very short amount of time. But now, there appears to be a trend away from the need for elevator speeches. After all, what are the odds you’ll be in an elevator (or subway or cab or other short-term space) with a VC? And if you are, will he or she really be sold on your idea after being bombarded with it for a minute or two? Elevator speeches are not about a constructive dialogue; they’re a fast-talking, never-gonna-get-this-shot-again, one-sided delivery of an idea. It’s difficult to determine if many people have actually had success with this method.

Business Insider asserts that elevator pitches are not how business gets done, and that, “when an investor meets an entrepreneur, the former wants to know what the latter is working on and will typically ask.” The point is that investors WANT to invest in good ideas and solid, credible businesspeople; they don’t need to be cornered and convinced with a speedy speech. A dialogue between investor and entrepreneur, with questions and answers and a healthy discussion, will typically give an entrepreneur a chance to explain his or her idea. A general overview is good, as most investors will ask questions about the parts they wish to know more about. And if the investor doesn’t ask questions or doesn’t seem interested, that’s fine, since it gives both the entrepreneur and the investor a chance to find opportunities that better fit their needs. Why waste someone’s time?

The point that Business Insider makes is this: “While…you should be able to speak succinctly and intelligently about your business,” a memorized, fast-paced elevator speech is unnecessary.

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