What is Your Elevator Pitch?

Imagine you are working on a project and have a brilliant idea that would not only make the project much better than it already is but also help you advance in your career. You have acquired the knowledge and skills to take this idea to the next stage and all that’s left is to have your boss approve it. There’s just one slight problem: your boss is a busy person and getting an appointment is no easy task. But then one morning, you are about to step into your office building and guess what? Your boss is also walking in at the same time! You realize that this is your chance and so you greet your boss and convey that you have an idea to share. Your boss stops and replies, ‘Sure. Give me your elevator pitch.’

What you need to do now is give your boss a succinct, compelling description of yourself, the project you are working on, and explain how your idea would add value to the company. The goal is to spike interest in your idea and set the ball rolling for further discussion.

However, it is common for people in this situation to become nervous and they often end up providing an ineffective summary of their idea or work. But If you are prepared in advance and have a clear, persuasive speech that’s ready to be delivered effectively, you should have an appointment to continue the discussion by the time you finish speaking.

When should you choose to make an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch does not necessarily take place in an elevator literally. A short but convincing speech is referred to as ‘an elevator pitch’ because it should only be as long as an elevator ride usually is (30–40 seconds). It can be used in any situation in which you have a short amount of time to introduce yourself and get someone important interested in your ideas, projects or work. It could be useful during job interviews, professional networking events, job fairs, your first day at a new workplace, and other similar situations.

Armed with a good elevator pitch, you will make an excellent first impression everywhere you go. Read on for some useful tips to help you craft yours.  

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Think about your goals: what is it that you want? Is it a job? Funding for your project? To make a successful sales pitch? Remember, you could develop one elevator pitch that you modify slightly to suit different goals and situations.

Step 2: Identify Your Strengths

Think about your goals: what is it that you want? Is it a job? Funding for your project? To make a successful sales pitch? Remember, you could develop one elevator pitch that you modify slightly to suit different goals and situations.

Step 3: Prepare to Make a Connection

After you have jotted down your thoughts, consider how you want to follow up with the person you are speaking to. You could choose to request an email address or phone number or simply share your own business card or resumé. Whichever method you choose, remember to always have the necessary details and material on hand. 

Now, we are ready to craft and develop your elevator pitch.

Introduction

First, introduce yourself briefly. If you are a student, state your name, your university, the degree you are studying for, your area of specialization, and the kind of work you are interested in. 

For instance, Sabah is a final year student at university who is at a job fair looking for her first job. This is how she might introduce herself to a potential employer:

My name is Sabah, I am a final year student at ABC Tech University and I am majoring in cybersecurity. I’ve most recently worked as an intern with researchers at the National Laboratory for Cybersecurity. I intend to pursue a career as a cybersecurity specialist.’   

Present Your Goals  

The next step is to state what your goals are. Describe what you intend to do with your skills and qualifications and also briefly explain your intentions. Try to keep the listener engaged by asking an important and relevant question. 

For instance:

‘Don’t you agree that cybersecurity and data protection are the most important concerns for large corporations and Governments today? I think so too! I want to use the knowledge and skills I have acquired to solve cyber-attack and personal information theft issues faced by corporations around the world.

 State Your Strengths

Next, mention your strengths. This could include, in brief, your experience, qualifications, personality traits, or anything else that would help showcase your abilities as the right fit for the position. 

Make the Connection

Now that you have got your listener interested in you and your work, conclude by requesting for some form of contact details so that you can send them more details.

In our example, Sabah would conclude with:

‘May I email my resumé to you or would you prefer a printed copy?’

And that’s it! We have now crafted your elevator pitch! Remember to keep these points in mind:

  • Practice it as many times as possible and rewrite it until it’s just right.
  • Record yourself saying it out loud or practice with a friend.
  • Use a timer to check if it is too long or too short. Ideally, it should be less than one minute. 
  • Check for language and grammatical errors.
  • Get feedback to ensure that it is clear and concise.
  • Try to sound natural and confident.

You are now ready to impress influential people with your elevator pitch. Remember, the first impression should always be the best one! 

If you think you need more help to speak confidently in English, take an online English course at Burlington English. Our excellent spoken English courses are delivered by expert tutors who will offer you professional guidance and support. You will also get access to our sophisticated AI-enabled Speech Trainer® which will provide you with personalized pronunciation practice tailored to your learning needs. Join us for an exciting language learning experience!

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