An elevator pitch is a quick, succinct summary of your message, achievements, or goals delivered in an authentic style that conveys your message effectively.
What do you want to achieve through an elevator pitch?
The goal of an elevator speech is to pique the listener’s interest and make them want to hear more. Elevator pitches should be 25-35 words long and take about 15 to 30 seconds to deliver. ~ About.com
Why Is Having an Elevator Pitch So Important?
You only have 30-60 seconds to make a powerful first impression. The attention span of the average person is just 30 seconds before their mind starts wandering. The other reason is people have less time today. You need to grab them quickly or lose them forever.
If you are ready to prepare your elevator speech as you launch your job search, here are some tips that might really help you do it the right way:
Develop an “elevator pitch” that tells your story
Don Fornes, Founder & CEO at Software Advice, suggests:
Interviews can be as brief as 20 minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s a short period of time in which strangers are trying to learn all they can about the 20 some years that defined who you are – they are looking for the answer to the question, “What’s your story?”. “Elevator pitch” is one of many business buzzwords you’ll hear throughout your career. Essentially, it is the story you could tell about yourself in the time it takes to travel by elevator from your starting floor to your destination.
As a recent grad, your elevator pitch should focus on your talents and energy rather than your experience. Generally, hiring managers are less interested in an internship at your uncle’s insurance agency than they are with, for example, the fact that you learned hard work growing up on a farm in Missouri; that you learned discipline on the varsity cross country team in high school; or, that you gained great organizational skills balancing the most intensive course load your university had to offer.
Tell a story that speaks to your core personality traits – and if you happen to have experience that aligns with your career goals, this just serves as proof that you are on the right track.
Stephanie Grayson of www.CorporateSpeechTrainer.com says:
Launching a “one size fits all” well-rehearsed, 30-second pitch is probably not the best idea, and risks the chance of being socially awkward and uncomfortable for both speaker and listener. However, it is also important to realize that there will be many other more naturally occurring occasions (in both your business and personal life) when having a way to clearly and concisely describe what you do will be very useful and helpful, and may even lead to interesting opportunities. I always tell my clients that when it comes to pitches, the key to being well-received is that you CONSIDER YOUR LISTENING AUDIENCE, whether that is an audience of 1 or 100. In other words, it really isn’t about what YOU would like to say or communicate during a pitch, but rather what would be useful/helpful for your LISTENER/AUDIENCE to know or hear or learn.
Highlight the good stuff
salisbury.edu has a very useful page that you must visit when preparing your elevator pitch and this tips stands out to me:
Listen and read through what you’ve recorded and written. Then either highlight or circle the phrases that hook you with clear, powerful, and visual words. Obviously not all the words will fall into these categories. You still need connector words, but you want them to be as few as possible.
Here’s an example – sample elevator pitch by Discover Chicago:
- Another useful presentation that might help you in developing an precise elevator pitch is here: http://www.career.usf.edu/PDFs/elev_spch_DV.pdf
- You may also try this one out: http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/
What tips and websites have you found useful while preparing your elevator pitch? Pls share in comments below.