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International trainers and storytellers

The First Elevator Pitch

Otis wanted to demonstrate his new safety invention to a sceptical US audience so he rented space in New York’s main exhibit hall. He constructed an open elevator platform and a shaft in which the platform could rise and fall. He got assistants to raise him to a height of 3 stories and with a crowd looking on, cut the main rope with an axe. The audience gasped. The platform fell but in seconds the safety brake engaged, the elevator stopped falling. Otis exclaimed “All safe, gentlemen, all safe”

It was a simple, dramatic and effective way to put a complex idea across in order to change minds. It was the world’s first elevator pitch. Otis went on to found the world famous Otis Elevator Company. [A thanks to Daniel Pink for bringing this story to our attention in his book – “To Sell is Human.”]


Posted by Barry Graham on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 in FeaturesNews
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