An elevator pitch, as the name suggests is a short speech about you that can be delivered in the time it takes an elevator to go from the ground floor to the top floor of a building.
Basically it’s a 30 second television commercial designed to sell the best version of you at events like career fairs, networking events, group interviews and more. Sounds easy right? Well it’s not. Condensing your many achievements into just 30 seconds is harder than you think. Remember what Einstein said?
“If you can’t explain it simply enough, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein
What to Include in an Elevator Pitch
A good elevator pitch will successful communicate the following:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What you want to achieve
In the case of a job interview for a specific role it will also explain why you are the perfect candidate for that role.
4 Steps to Writing an Elevator Pitch
Begin by writing down a list of all your best accomplishments, making sure you include:
Start eliminating things from your list that are not critical for a potential future employer or new contact to know. Keep going until you are left with 3-4 key points that really explain your unique skills and achievements.
Once this is done, remove all acronyms and abbreviations from the copy. It should be simple enough that you could explain it to your next door neighbour with ease.
Now start developing your actual script. If you are really struggling, try following the guidelines below.
Hello, my name is ________ and I am a __________ professional with a strong track record in (insert a benefit that the person you are pitching to will find useful and necessary).
Follow on with 2-3 points that are your unique selling proposition. You can insert a short story around your skills if you like to create intrigue or drop in a bold statement like – I will change the world – to ensure you engage the person you are talking to and make them ask a follow up question. If you do not feel comfortable with these very bold approaches, you can start with phrases like:
Specializing in ______
I have excelled at ______
And I can _________ for you.
Close the pitch with a statement about what you want and what you are looking for.
I am looking to ___________ with specific regards to ________.
Review the script you have written and ask yourself the following questions.
- Who is this written for?
- Every employer who hears such a pitch will ask themselves – What’s in this for me? Have I answered this question clearly in my pitch? If the answer is no, go back and work on the pitch until it clearly answers the question.
- Have a clearly explained the unique value I can offer that makes me different to other candidates?
Practice it out loud until it sounds natural and conversational. It is very important that you practice out loud. You need to hear your own voice and become comfortable with it. Once it sounds good, say it in front of a mirror and pay attention to your body language and mannerisms.
Try it out on family and friends and see how they respond to it.
Once you have put together your elevator pitch and are happy with it make sure you know it well. You never know when you will need to use this very important 30 second speech. You can use it when you meet new people who you can add to your network, at key work events, certain job interviews and more.