How to Help Students Craft the Perfect Elevator Pitch

Imagine: you step onto an elevator and find yourself standing next to someone who has the perfect opportunity for you. How do you make the moment count?  

Introducing the Elevator Pitch: a way to help students think of how to communicate their goals, strengths, and who they are in an effective and efficient way. Follow the exercise below to have your students dig through the elements of who they are to pick out pieces that are most essential to their goals. Download our free outline to guide students in crafting their own elevator pitch.

Overview of an Elevator Pitch

Use our guide below and spend 20-30 minutes teaching your students what an elevator pitch is, helping them understand their goals and identity, and taking the final step of recording and uploading their elevator pitch.

First things first. Before we get started, an important piece to keep in mind is the audience – is your student interested in pursuing a career opportunity or an educational program? Generally, elevator pitches are suitable for 9th grade and above, but there’s a variety of use cases that could help your student land an opportunity that fits who they are.

Lesson Breakdown

There are five steps each under 10 minutes that will help your student learn about and master their own elevator pitch. We’ll begin with a quick warmup that will ask students to describe themselves in their own words. Then students will learn the purpose of an elevator pitch and the best practices on creating one. Afterward, students will have the opportunity to record their own pitch, give and receive feedback, reflect, and upload their video to their Tallo profile to be seen by colleges and companies. Let’s get started!

Warm-up: 5 Minutes

Start by giving your students 2-3 minutes to describe themselves in one sentence. This will be a great chance to start picking their brains about how they view themselves. You can ask guiding questions like the qualities they are sharing about themselves. Are they describing their personalities, physical attributes, accomplishments, or goals? Once your students are finished discussing amongst themselves, present them with this situation:

Imagine you are in an elevator with the owner of the company you’d like to work for or a recruiter at the school you’d like to attend. What would you say? Would you share the same sentence you wrote down in the warm-up? Why or why not?

Elevator Pitch Overview: 3-5 Minutes

Now that your students are envisioning themselves connecting with their dream opportunity or school, it’s time to explain the meaning of an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a concise description of who you are, your experiences, and your goals. This is a great time to ask the class and discuss: Why do you think they are called elevator pitches? Elevator pitches are generally short speeches that shouldn’t take longer than an elevator ride. The time limit exists to help students get to the point about who they are and what they want to do. A good elevator speech will also tie in why that other person should care, AKA why your student would be a good fit.

Crafting The Pitch: 6-10 Minutes

It’s time to craft the elevator pitch! Download our Elevator Pitch Outline Handout to share with your class. Have your students fill out the handout, draft their pitch, and then share and receive feedback in groups of 2-3 students. Giving students an opportunity to practice their pitch in front of their peers will make the recording process much smoother in the next step.

Recording: 2-5 Minutes

Your class has done the hard part of drafting their elevator pitch, now it’s time to record using a laptop, phone, or device of your choice! Have students play the pitch back to themselves and adjust their recording based on their speech, enunciation, volume, and tone. If your students recorded a video of their pitch, have them upload their videos to their Tallo profile to get connected with opportunities.

Reflection: 5 Minutes

Congratulations! You helped your student manage through their first elevator pitch. While this may be the first for some students, it certainly will not be the last. Spend some time discussing the following questions with students:

-What is the importance of an elevator pitch?

-How might your elevator pitch change as you get older?

-When might you use an elevator pitch?


Download the complete Tallo Mini-Lesson: Creating an Elevator Pitch w/ Student Handout included.

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