How to Write and Deliver an Elevator Pitch

How to Write and Deliver an Elevator Pitch

What Is an Elevator Pitch?

Imagine this – you walk into an elevator, and there stands a CEO of a large conglomerate. You and he are headed to the same floor, and you realize that this is an incredible opportunity to talk about yourself and your professional skills. The elevator has already started to move, so you have a maximum of one minute to engage that person. What do you say? This is the essence of an elevator pitch.

Pin It

In other words, it is not a detailed story about your life nor an attempt to beg your way into a job. It is an opportunity to generate your potential employer’s interest in you and your capabilities. So, what should an elevator pitch sound like, and when should it be used?

The Main Features of an Elevator Pitch

Every speech is unique, and yet they still have some features in common. A successful elevator pitch should be:

Brief

The whole point of an elevator pitch is to keep it as short as possible. Do not overwhelm your potential employer with all the details of your life. Keep it brief. You will only have 30 to 60 seconds to impress the person in front of you.

Clear

This is your unique opportunity to present yourself in the best light. So, let’s get straight to the point. Be concise and choose the proper words to get your message across as quickly and naturally as possible.

Direct

Remember that you are talking to a specific person—the one standing right in front of you. Therefore, personalize your pitch. Demonstrate to your listener that you are targeting them directly and express your objectives logically.

Effective 

Begin with a hook that will grab your listeners’ attention. Then, develop your message by selecting the words that help them visualize what you bring to their company. Instead of saying, “I am a web designer,” say, “My web design skills will help your business flourish.”

The Uses of an Elevator Pitch

Of course, an elevator pitch will also come in handy outside the elevator. It is needed for:

  • Career Fairs. A career fair is perfect for demonstrating your potential to a future employer. Keep in mind that the competition among job seekers is incredibly high during these events. So, make sure your pitch is flawless, outstanding, and dynamic!
  • Internal Networking Events. Never underestimate the power of networking! Make friends with your college peers and get to know your professors. The more people you meet, the more career opportunities you obtain.
  • External Networking Events. Are you interested in gaining new connections outside of your educational institution? There are plenty of events devoted to students’ professional growth. Stay tuned in, keep track of activities, and make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to expand your network.
  • Job Interviews. Usually, job interviews start with this phrase: “Tell me about yourself.” It is the perfect moment to use your elevator pitch! Impress an HR manager within the first few seconds of the interview and increase your chances of getting hired.
  • Your CV. It usually has an “about” section. You can put your elevator pitch there. It will grab an employer’s attention and boost your chances of being invited to a job interview.
  • Online Profiles. Do you have a student profile on LinkedIn or similar job search websites? You should consider adding your pitch there. This will make the recruiters interested in your professional skills and motivate them to contact you.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Elevator Pitch

Writing an elevator pitch can be pretty intimidating at first. Talking about yourself is challenging, and fitting everything into a one-minute speech seems impossible.

However, coming up with an effective elevator pitch is a task that any student can handle. This process is similar to writing a standard academic essay and follows the same familiar steps: introduction, body, and conclusion. Below, you will find a detailed outline for your pitch.

Hook

This is an essential element that influences your entire elevator pitch. Come up with one line that makes your listener curious about you. Think of your unique selling proposition—what makes you stand out compared to others? Don’t forget that your hook must be creative, dynamic, and strong!

Introduction

Give a summary of your professional background. Here, you can include information about your education, experience, key specialties, and strengths. Do you feel overwhelmed about deciding what exactly to include? Brainstorm! Write down everything that occurs in your mind. Then, analyze what you have written, determine what details are essential, and express them in a logical order in your pitch introduction.

body

Dig deeper into your professional skills and explain what benefits you can bring to your potential employer. You could:

  • Clarify what problems you can solve.
  • Suggest what would be your input into the company.
  • Explain why the employer should choose you specifically.

Also, express your willingness to become a part of their team. Try to show your desire to grow and expand your skillset.

Conclusion

The end of your elevator pitch should be powerful since it leaves the last impression on you. The best way to finish your speech is to ask a question or motivate your listener to action. This will help you secure future interactions with your potential employer.

Edits

Polish your pitch until it is flawless. Check that you aren’t using fillers or vague words and don’t have any run-on sentences. Also, ensure that your speech is concise and makes logical sense. Then, present it to your friends or family members and receive their feedback. Make adjustments if needed.

Delivering Your Elevator Pitch: Tips & Tricks

Writing a good elevator pitch is just the first step. It is vital not only to find the right words but also to deliver them well. In this section, we present some useful advice on public speaking that will help you stay calm and collected during the crucial moment.

  • Practice again and again. You can start by recording yourself on your phone or camera. Play it back to check that your speech is expressive, straightforward, and doesn’t resemble a sales pitch. Once you are satisfied with how you sound, the next step is to practice with a friend or family member. Keep at it until you can give your pitch without any trouble. After all, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
  • Be confident. When you are practicing, you must pay attention not only to how you sound but also to how you move. Confident and composed body language will ensure you make a great first impression. Keep an upright posture, remember to smile, and maintain eye contact. Your tone and facial expressions also matter – be animated and show the other person that you are interested in them.
  • Keep it natural. Remember that an elevator pitch isn’t a monologue but a conversation. It must be authentic and flow naturally, so try building an emotional connection with the person you’re talking to. Introduce yourself, tell an anecdote from your life, and don’t be afraid to joke around. People are more likely to remember and approach you when you show off your personality.
  • They finished on a high note. The end of your elevator pitch is your last chance to leave the other person with a strong impression. You will want to finish on a high note, thanking your conversation partner and offering to connect again at a later date. Don’t forget to give them a reliable way of contacting you, such as a business card or your social media profile.

Common Elevator Pitch Mistakes

Before starting any task, it is important to learn all the correct steps. It is also valuable to figure out precisely what should be avoided. Below, we have described some of the most common mistakes students make when writing and delivering their elevator pitches.

Avoid…

  • … polishing your speech too much.
    When you create a pitch that’s a little too refined, it becomes a monologue. That leaves no room for the other person to get involved and makes you sound less natural. Instead of memorizing what you wrote word for word, concentrate on remembering the main points. This way, your speech will sound fresh and different every time, engaging the other person.
  • I’m speaking way too fast.
    Unsurprisingly, you usually won’t have much time to deliver your elevator pitch. You might think that the faster you speak, the more you will be able to tell your conversation partner. However, bombarding them with information can often have the opposite effect. The other person will struggle to keep up, and they could easily get lost in what you’re saying. When delivering your speech, prioritize clarity first and foremost—so make sure you are intelligible.
  • …freezing up.
    It is understandable that you might begin to feel anxious and stressed right as you are about to give your speech. Stage fright during public speaking is a widespread occurrence, even among professionals. The surest way to ensure that you don’t freeze up is to keep practicing until you have your elevator pitch committed to memory. Once again, don’t just memorize it in its entirety. Rehearse with different people, such as family, friends, and peers. The more often you do it, the simpler it will get in the future.
  • … rambling on and on.
    Your elevator pitch must have a clear purpose. Whether you are at a job interview or a casual networking event, you have to remember to be concise and focused. Even if you have unlimited time to speak, try not to go off track or ramble about irrelevant things. Pay attention to your conversation partner, giving them the space to interject or ask questions when needed.
  • Pushing a sale.
    You have probably heard that the best way to get a job is to “sell yourself.” However, when delivering your elevator pitch, the last thing you want to do is sound like you are making a sale. If you push too hard, you might drive the other person away and ruin your first impression. Instead, try to hold a casual conversation and observe their reactions. Don’t keep talking to them if they are looking bored. Instead, try to switch up topics and figure out what they’re interested in.
  • … sounds monotonous.
    Even the best elevator pitches can come off as stifled and boring when said in a monotonous voice. On the contrary, the simplest speech can sound exciting and motivating when you deliver it with enough energy and vigor. After all, enthusiasm and confidence go a long way in ensuring that you are remembered!

Elevator Pitching: What Comes Next?

Did you manage to spark the curiosity in your potential employer with your elevator pitch? Congratulations! You made them want to contact you again. Now, it’s time for the second round. This is what you can expect to happen next on different occasions:

LinkedInIf your pitch was noticed on LinkedIn, you should expect the potential employer to study your profile and send a connection request. Also, they could check out your website or portfolio or message you with some offers.
Formal MeetingIf you presented your elevator pitch to someone during a networking event, the next step would be to arrange an actual job interview. If you succeed, people will want to talk to you and learn more about your professional skills.
website or BlogDid you post your pitch on a website? You can expect the visitors to fill out the contact form, give you a call, or send you an e-mail.
Informal MeetingWas your elevator pitch actually delivered in an elevator? The next step would be to meet in a more formal atmosphere to discuss the further steps of the potential cooperation.

Excellent Elevator Pitch Examples for Any Occasion

Keep in mind that opportunities can arise anywhere. So, be flexible and capable of adapting to the situation. In this section, we have provided several examples for different occasions. Check them out to learn how to build your elevator pitch.

Interview

Hello! I am a senior student majoring in International Business Administration who seeks experience in the marketing field. During my studies at university, I pursued knowledge that would perfectly fit the position of a junior marketer. I have skills in digital marketing, and I would be happy to contribute to your team. I am open to innovative ideas and ready to embrace any challenge. I am not afraid of difficulties. I meet them head-on and solve them with confidence! Would you like to expand your team with a young and progressive specialist?

Career Fair

Hello! I am a graphic designer, and I know how to boost your customers’ interaction, strengthen your brand identity, and increase profits. I am a recent graduate with three months of experience as an E-Commerce Graphic Designer with XYZ Company. Throughout my studies and internship, I gained skills that will definitely help your company reach the next level. I strive to grow and bring my input to the development of your business. Would you be willing to know more about my qualifications?

Networking Event

Hello! I’ve heard that you are looking for a research assistant. Since I have experience performing competitor analysis, I would like to take this opportunity and become a part of your team. I am a recent graduate of Oklahoma University with a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Finance. I am sure that my skills and knowledge will fit the position perfectly. I strive for professional growth, and I am ready to expand my horizons at your company! Could you please tell me more about the requirements for the research assistant position?

LinkedIn Profile

I am a senior student majoring in International Relations and Development at Stanford University. My experience in the law field has opened my eyes to many civil rights violation issues. Thus, I strive to use my knowledge to make this world a better place to live.

I am highly motivated to work with civil disputes and human inequality cases. I believe that my set of skills and knowledge will bring value to any organization. I am ready to embrace new challenges and work to establish social equality.

I am looking forward to fruitful cooperation, and I am open to job offers. Contact me if you believe that we can collaborate successfully.

Job Opportunity

Hello! My name is Jacob, and I’ve spent the last four years acquiring skills in programming and getting a Bachelor’s degree in IT. I’ve been interested in working with your company for a while. And now, I cannot miss this opportunity to introduce myself to you.

I believe that the knowledge and experience that I got during my internships will bring a fresh perspective to your company. Being ready to accept challenges, I consider myself a risk-taker and an effective problem solver. Would you be willing to expand your team with young talent?

Internship

Hello, my name is Alex, and I am a third-year student at George Washington University majoring in Contemporary Communication. I am willing to gain experience in journalism, interpersonal communication, narrative, and storytelling.

During my studies at university, I have developed a solid theoretical ground and acquired basic journalism skills. Now, I aim to start my career path, and your company is a perfect place for the beginning of my professional development.

I am a quick learner, so I will be able to keep up with the tasks effectively. I am sure my knowledge will become valuable to your company, and your professionalism will help me gain journalistic experience. I am looking forward to becoming a part of your team and taking a brave step into the professional world.

Thank you for your attention! Now, you are ready to write your perfect elevator pitch. If you think our tips might help someone you know, please send them this article.

Post by: Yvonne McQuarrie.

She serves as a writer and blogger at IvyPanda.



Open chat