What is an elevator pitch?
By definition; the elevator pitch is a quick speech or conversation to sell yourself to a complete stranger. As its name suggests, in the same time it would take you to ride in an elevator. Assuming the person you are pitching to knows absolutely nothing about you, by the end of the 30 odd seconds, they should know your skills, experience, and what motivates you.
The elevator pitch isn’t just for those people looking to enter a career in sales either, the job market is a competitive place and it is vital to be able to pitch yourself efficiently and confidently to impress your interviewer, and throughout your career when you have passing exchanges with people.
Here are some of our top tips to help you make your 30 seconds count:
Be passionate. People respect passion, whether they share your view or interest or not, it evokes a response and interest. Remember that it’s about you, there is no right or wrong answer and telling people what they want to hear may be obvious and catch you out further down the line.
- Get the right balance
Don’t underestimate yourself but don’t be cocky either. Don’t be embarrassed about what you have or haven’t achieved. If you’re at the beginning of your career it can sometimes be intimidating when talking to someone more senior but it’s not just employment experience that is valuable and the reason you are at an interview is to gain more. It can be hard to not sound like a salesman during your elevator pitch given that the aim is to sell yourself but don’t be arrogant, it’s a real turn off. Be yourself.
- Be prepared to adapt your pitch
This is a skill that you will learn over time. Depending on who you meet and in what scenario will affect your speech to achieve the desired response from who you are talking to. Selling yourself in an interesting and engaging way is very different if you’re introducing yourself to a potential recruiter or a potential partner in a pub. Again, just be yourself, let your natural self-shine through.
Your elevator pitch should last no more than a minute and not be your life story. What you do say should leave the person or people you are with wanting to meet you again to find out more.
You don’t want your elevator pitch to sound robotic and over-prepared, but it is important to practice. People often don’t like to talk about themselves too much but consider what you have achieved, what you are proud of, and your USP (unique selling point). Pitch to a friend or family member that knows you well, they might be able to suggest something you have missed too.
Good luck and don’t forget to smile!