An elevator pitch, elevator speech or elevator statement is a short sales pitch; that is, a summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition.
The name reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. Its origin is widely credited to Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso (while he was editor for Vanity Fair).
The term itself comes from a scenario of a coincidental meeting with someone important in the elevator. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, the conversation will either continue after the elevator ride, or end in exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting.