Rise & Shine with the Perfect Elevator Pitch

You’ve just bumped into a former client at the airport. After exchanging the customary hello, he asks you what you do with your new company now. You begin to talk, and then pause. Where do you even begin?

Then, as you try to organize your thoughts, his flight is announced, and he’s on his way out. If you’d been better equipped , what you could have landed is a scheduled meeting with him maybe for new prospects or a dream job!

This is just one situation where it helps to have an “elevator pitch.”

So, what is an elevator pitch?

A personal elevator pitch is a quick summary of you. It’s named for the time taken to ride an elevator from the bottom to the top of a building, which is roughly 45 seconds or 150 words.

Elevator pitches are sometimes thought to be specific to an idea or a product. However, having a pitch to market yourself as a professional, is also a common way to use elevator pitches.

Why do you need one?

To avoid incidences as the above one. More so, it is useful during interviews, or even during a mentorship session. It could be a formal, more calculated pitch, or it could be a casual script you could use, at a grocery store, an office party or well in an actual elevator. An elevator pitch can be handy to write your cover letters, statement of purposes and much more. It helps new connections, understand why they connect with you or consider you for the next opportunity.

Using an elevator pitch to speak about your career & aspirations enables you to take the lead & direct conversations – The confidence of knowing what you want, always shows you in good light.

How do I create one?

  • Introduce Yourself And give a summary of what you do.

e.g. Hi, I’m Leela. After graduating with my master’s degree in business administration, I’ve spent the last three years successfully managing end-to-end event coordination and creating a strong professional network for my organization.

  • Your Story – Why do you do, what you do.

We often rely on our credentials to tell our story, but that is only a part of who we are. So, fill in the rest of the story. Let whoever you are talking to get to know your personality, your unique experiences, and your motivations.

For e.g. – One of my proudest achievements was a pro-bono project that was recognized as a top non-profit campaign last year. I’ve been interested in moving to the non-profit education sector, since then.

  • Finishing your elevator pitch – asking for what you want
    1. Varies from situation to situation
    2. Important to give an interaction a next step instead of a dead end
    3. Make the ask simple as you might have just met the person

For e.g. – I find the work your PR team does very innovating and refreshing. I’d love the opportunity to put my expertise to work for your company. Would you mind if I set up a quick call next week for us to talk about any upcoming opportunities in your team?

Now that the format is clear, as well as your objective, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Follow the format but as you write it keep in mind these expert-driven tips on formulating creative and effective elevator pitches:

  • Be persuasive – show passion/motivation
  • Highlight  your skills – focus on how you are unique and/or exceptional
  • Write & use multiple versions – spark interest specific to your audience
  • Include a call-to-action