The basic idea is that in the fortunate event you find yourself in a lift with a potential backer for your business (think Richard Branson), could you convey the essentials of your idea or invention before he got out on the 20th floor?
In practice this means between 30 seconds and two minutes to express all the salient (selling) points without any waffle, which for some of my clients is a challenge to say the least.
To see examples of this in an even more demanding environment head over to Techfluff.tv to watch one of their many escalator pitches. Just be aware that practicing this on the London Underground might get you arrested.
Another inspiring place to visit for when you get a little bit longer to get your idea across (in this case 6 minutes), is Demo.com. In particular have a look at some of the Demo Gods in action to see how it should be done by the best of the best.
The feel you get when you enter the ballroom at DEMO is unlike any other conference. Each company is given just six minutes on the DEMO stage to truly demonstrate how their product will change the world. No PowerPoint or flashy corporate presentations allowed. Just the founders and the technologies many are staking their careers on… it doesn’t get any more straightforward and fast paced than that.