When I first gave my elevator pitch to a potential investor, I followed the guidelines below. I still follow this approach, and feel it provides a concise way of communicating.

Customize the beginning, for the person in question
You should customize the first few sentences to the person you are speaking to. For example, the elevator pitch you give to a “marketing person,” shouldn’t be the same one you give to a banker/financial person.

Speak about why you’re doing it
People don’t care about what you’re doing. That’s generic platitudes anyone can write up. People want to feel your passion, you’re “why.” Without that passion, they won’t care. They might think you have a great idea, but they’ll never give you the time of day.

Discuss the problem briefly
Always make sure to discuss the problem. Discuss it briefly, spend more time focusing on why it’s a pain.

Discuss noteworthy data points to show your team is good
Often, people spend too much time discussing the business in general terms, i.e. discussing business structure, quality of team etc. Focus on concrete facts, like what the team has accomplished so far.

End with an action point
Always end your pitch with a call to action for the person you’re speaking to. If its a potential investor, address the financial needs you have and then end your pitch with,

“Do you mind If I send you my deck?”
“Do you mind if I send you some of our financial models?”

This acts as a natural transition. It ends the convo – which keeps it short. It gets you a point of contact, so now you can transition the conversation to the next method of communication.