Summary: An elevator pitch summarizes your background and experience. It is also an opportunity to engage with your audience and showcase the best of your communication skills.
Craft an Elevator Pitch in 4 Steps
An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that creates interest in your background and experience. A quality elevator pitch should last at most 30 seconds to 1 minute, just like a short elevator ride. Your pitch should be unique, engaging, and memorable. A great elevator speech is tailored for or relevant to the listener. Use the following steps to start creating an elevator pitch.
Step 1. Start with an Introduction
First, introduce yourself and tell who you are. Consider what you would most want the listener to remember about you. Give your name, and add a courtesy like, “It’s nice to meet you!”
First impressions count, so make eye contact, smile, and speak clearly. If the conversation occurs via a video chat or in person, dress for success. Consider practicing your elevator pitch a few times in the mirror so that the speech seems natural to you.
Step 2. Summarize Your Background
Provide a summary of your background and include the most relevant information about your work experience, education, and skills. Start with the most recent experiences you have had and work backward. You might also consider highlighting just the most important parts of your resume. It’s not essential, however, to share all of your work or educational background. Choose activities that are most applicable to the employment you are seeking.
Step 3. Give a Value Statement
Point out the value that you would bring to the company. Explain why you’re a good fit or what benefit you would bring to the business. Spotlight those skills, interests, or experiences that align with the company’s ethics or standards. This part of your pitch is where you should focus on what you have to offer.
Step 4. End with a Call to Action
End your elevator pitch by describing your immediate goals. For a job interview, state your intention or goal of the specific employment you want with the company. Make sure your goals are defined and realistic. The listener should understand what you ask them and what you want to happen next. End the conversation by thanking them for their time. Send a follow-up email or note with your written thanks for their time and the opportunity to speak with them.
When to Use an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch should be a specific, targeted, focused first impression. When should you use an elevator pitch?
- When introducing yourself to an employer/recruiter to schedule an interview
- During a response to a question to help the listener get to know you
- At a meetup, hackathon, or another networking event
- As an element in your LinkedIn summary section
Following these steps will help you create an effective elevator pitch to explain the benefits of what you have to offer. It can help listeners understand why they should connect with or consider you when an employment opportunity emerges. Do your homework. Investigate the company’s website and social media presence to determine its values and goals. An effective elevator speech should align with the company’s or listener’s interests and will help you stand out in the crowd.