Tips for Delivering a Better Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch could be your chance to present yourself to a potential employer. What do you need to know about delivering it?

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Elevator Pitch

What Is an Elevator Pitch?

The term “elevator pitch” can mean different things in different situations. The idea is to make a good impression on anyone you meet at career fairs or networking events by giving them a snapshot of your strengths and most relevant skills. An effective elevator pitch should give people just enough information to interest them and provide a call to action to initiate follow-up contact, seek more information and maybe even schedule a job interview.

The Structure of a Great Elevator Pitch

Though the perfect elevator pitch should be very short, it needs to pack a mighty punch and contain a lot of information. As such, consider these major points below as your keys to an effective elevator pitch. Consider your work experience, skill set and the pain points of the people you are trying to convince as you come up with a pitch that follows this structure.
1. Grab attention
Because you could have as little as 30 seconds to give your elevator pitch, it is important that the opening line grabs attention. For example, you could open with your overall goal. Being direct in this way can catch and hold the attention of whomever you are speaking with.
2. Spark curiosity in your job
You need to explain what you do in your pitch, both the scope of your work and its benefits. Talk about the challenges you face, the problems you solve, and the value you bring to the table. Be as specific as possible. 3. Express your best achievement
Include your best achievement as a unique selling point to make a good first impression and help you stick in the mind of the person you’re speaking to.
4. Make an offer
End your elevator speech with an offer or a call to action that will incentivize the listener to follow up with you later. Maybe you can mention a specific way you can help the person’s business, for example, or suggest that you can meet again at a more convenient time to give a more detailed account of your experiences or skills. If you have a business card, leave it with them so they have your contact information. You can also try to connect with them on LinkedIn if it’s appropriate.


When To Use an Elevator Pitch

There are many situations in which you should utilize an elevator sales pitch. Of course, you shouldn’t simply spring it on people without warning. You should only use your sales or elevator pitch on those who have already shown an initial interest in your business or career, or those with whom you have already struck up a conversation. Most notably, you should use this short speech when:

  • Talking to a potential client
  • Pitching your entrepreneur business to an investor
  • Talking to a CEO or recruiter at career fairs
  • Job interview (“Tell me about yourself”)

In these situations, an effective sales pitch, when combined with the right body language, can make a positive impact on your job search. Just be sure to practice your elevator pitch before you deploy it in real life. To perfect, go over it with family and friends or even ask co-workers and colleagues for feedback.

FAQ: Elevator Pitch

Q: How long should my elevator pitch be?

Your elevator pitch should be 20 to 30 seconds, ideally. In short, it should take up the time of an average elevator ride. An elevator pitch should contain the bare minimum in terms of details and should, as a sales pitch of sorts, grab the attention of anyone you are talking to.

Q: How many times will I have to use my elevator pitch before it works?

You may have to give your elevator pitch many times before you are successful, especially at career fairs. This is not a sign that you are doing something wrong. It’s simply the way it is. The benefit of an elevator pitch is that it is short, it will be easy for you to perfect it as you use it.

Q: Should I memorize my elevator pitch verbatim?

Memorizing your elevator speech can be helpful at first, but as you gain confidence, you should start to personalize it for the person you are talking to. Different hiring managers and business owners will have different priorities, after all. To make a good elevator pitch great, you should also improve your networking skills.

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