You are at an event and you bump into big shots that you revere. After introducing yourself and telling how much you love what they do, you’re asked “what do you do”. You wait a minute, open your mouth and the words fail you. This is one situation where you need to give an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch sometimes called elevator speech or statement is a brief pre-prepared speech that explains what you do clearly and concisely.
In this post, we would be looking at what an elevator pitch is all about and how to give an elevator pitch one, citing examples.
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What Is An Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a short, impressive speech about yourself or what your organization does. A good elevator statement should last for about 30-60 seconds at most and it should be interesting, brief, and memorable.
The statement also has to explain what makes you or your organization unique. It’s an effective tool to use to sell yourself as a professional.
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When To Use An Elevator Pitch
Many people assume that an elevator pitch is only useful to salesmen and women who need to pitch their products and services but it is not so. You can use an elevator pitch in other situations too. Let us look at some examples.
1. At A Job Fair
Making a good first impression is very important regardless of the event or situation you find yourself. At job fairs where your time to interact with employers is restricted to a few minutes, a good elevator pitch will be handy and will help you stand out from other candidates.
When you’re asked to introduce yourself at a job fair, start with your elevator pitch but do not rush into it. First of all, exchange names and greetings then you begin your pitch.
2. During Professional Membership Or Networking Events
During networking events, whether you are looking for a new job or just interested in meeting new people, you can use your elevator pitch to build your network. You may find that someone has some helpful connections, advice, or an opportunity for you based on the experience and passion you mention in your pitch.
Also, you could be of help to someone you meet there after sharing your elevator pitch if you have the experience they are looking to gain.
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3. For Internal Networking
Internal networking is the process of connecting and reaching out to co-workers within your organization.
This kind of opportunity might occur on the spur of the moment like when you introduce yourself to a fellow worker or superior a few minutes before a meeting, while collaborating on a project, or even while sharing an escalator. This type of interaction can also be planned and you can use your elevator pitch to begin.
4. On Your Online Profiles
You can also include your elevator speech on your online profiles to introduce yourself to your employers virtually. This can help you generate higher quality contacts from employers since you addressed the kind of opportunities that interest you and the skills you have to bring.
How To Create And Deliver An Elevator Pitch With Examples
- Begin By Introducing Yourself
Your introduction is the first and very crucial step. You can begin by giving your name, a smile, and extending your hand for a handshake. Then add a pleasantry. For instance; ‘Hi my name is Sara, it’s so nice to meet you!’
- Give A Brief Summary Of What You Do
After your introduction, the next step is to give a brief summary of your background. Make sure to include the most germane information such as educational qualifications, work experience, and any key specialties or strengths.
As a tip, you can write everything down on paper, then go through it and remove anything that is not explaining your background effectively. Once you have reduced it down to a few points, organize them in a way that makes sense to your story.
“Hi, my name is Sara. It’s so nice to meet you! I’m a PR manager with a special focus on overseeing successful initiative launches from beginning to end. Along with my seven years of professional experience, I recently graduated with my MBA from XYZ University, with a focus on consumer trust and retention…”
- Explain What You Want
The next step in your pitch is to explain what you want. In this section, focus on explaining what you have to offer, the value you bring, and why you’re a good fit for what you are looking for whether it’s a job opportunity or internship.
“Hi, my name is Sara. It’s so nice to meet you! I’m a PR manager, specializing in overseeing successful initiative launches from beginning to end. Along with my seven years of professional experience, I recently received my MBA with a focus on consumer trust and retention. I find the work your PR team does to be innovative and refreshing and I’d love the opportunity to put my expertise to work for your company…”
- Conclude With A Call For Action
You should conclude your elevator pitch by asking or stating what you want to happen next. When you feel an elevator pitch is appropriate for a certain situation, begin with the goal of gaining new insight or determining the next steps.
You may be intimidated asking for what you want, but it’s important you give the conversation an action item.
“Hi, my name is Sara. It’s so nice to meet you! I’m a PR manager, specializing in overseeing successful initiative launches from beginning to end. Along with my 7 years of professional experience, I recently received my MBA with a focus on consumer trust and retention. I find the work your PR team does to be innovative and refreshing and 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 on your team?”
Be sure to thank them for their time if they agree to your request. Also, end the discussion with a short and action-oriented farewell such as,
“Thank you for your time, I’ll send you a follow-up email tonight. Have a great day.”
And if they don’t agree to your request, you can end the conversation with,
“I understand, thank you for your time. If all right, I’ll send you a follow-up email and see if theres a better time for us to connect.”
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Tips On How To Give An Elevator Pitch
- Time your elevator pitch. Make sure it does not exceed 60 seconds.
- Practice time and time again
- Speak clearly at a steady pace
- Be conversational
- Smile and let your passion show
Always have a business card ready. You can offer it at the end of your dialogue to continue the conversation. If you do not have one, you can use your phone to share your contact.
An elevator pitch is a very important tool to use in any sphere you find yourself. You could use it not only to introduce yourself but to sell new ideas and to tell people about the change initiative youre leading amongst many others.
I hope this article has provided you with the best tips to help you deliver a good and polished elevator speech.
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