What Is an Elevator Pitch?
It is important for any business-oriented professional to understand the significance of a refined elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short speech in which you explain your experience, background and various strengths as an individual and employee. Whether you’re at a career expo, job fair, mixer, or other type of work-related event, having an effective elevator pitch is a great way of introducing yourself in a clear and concise manner to potential employers. Since an elevator pitch may be made in a wide variety of events and locations, it is important to have a well-refined speech at the ready. Elevator pitches are not just limited to in-person interactions but can also be used for LinkedIn pages, resumes and other biographical profiles.
Elevator pitches may also be used as a way of introducing the goals and operations of a company to a possible customer, partner or client. No matter who is the recipient of your speech, an elevator pitch must clearly define who you are, what your goals are as an employee and individual and what you are looking for in a potential company. It should include the credentials, skills and other qualifications that may set you apart as an exceptional employee and individual.
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How to Write an Elevator Pitch
While crafting a speech on your own background and credentials may seem like an easy task, perfecting an efficient and powerful elevator pitch may prove to be a bit of a challenge.
The following elevator pitch tips may prove useful in developing the perfect speech:
- Be sure to state your goals clearly. Are you pitching yourself as a possible employee? Or are you making a pitch for selling your company’s product? It is important to make a clear outline for your objectives.
- Create a clear description of your capabilities as an individual or organization. Starting with how your services have previously benefited others in the past can often be a great way of conveying your value as an employee or company. Keep in mind that statistics or other information can be used to quickly provide positive information about yourself and background.
- Using open-ended questions is a great way to keep the conversation going with a possible employer or client and go deeper with the initial pitch.
- Are you able to accurately describe your USP or “unique selling position”? In other words, what separates you from other individuals? Describe how your particular background and skills make you a standout and how such differences would prove beneficial for the company in question.
When to Use an Elevator Pitch
Whether you are attending a job fair, career expo, mixer or other type of networking event, having a well-prepared elevator pitch can be a great way to make yourself stand out from other potential employees and companies. Think of the elevator pitch as your response to the “tell me about yourself” portion of an interview.
In addition to reaching possible employers and corporate partners, elevator pitches can also be used to gain potential investors in a company or project. Take the bullet points of an elevator pitch and use them to describe the basic goals of the investment and why it is worth an investor’s time and financial backing.
Use Business Psychology and Persuasive Techniques in Your Elevator Pitch
It is important to use proven psychological and persuasive techniques when crafting your elevator pitch. Current research shows that the decision-making process is, in fact, based on very specific factors and rules of persuasion, each of which should be integrated into an effective elevator pitch.
Numerous papers have been published on the most effective means of influence. One such paper, titled “Influence,” was published by a professor named Robert Cialdini in 1984. Cialdini names the Six Principles of Influence: Reciprocity, Consistency and Commitment, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity.
Structure is also very important in an elevator pitch, as explained in Monroe’s Motivated Sequence:
- Attention: Getting someone’s attention at any type of career-oriented event can be a tricky situation. It is a good idea to begin your elevator pitch with an attention-grabbing statement.
- Need: Describe how your idea or concept would meet the particular needs of the employer or company.
- Satisfaction: How will the employer’s or company’s specific business needs be satisfied by the points made in your pitch?
- Visualization: Set the scene by presenting a visualization of how your outlined solutions will meet the listener’s goals.
- Action: How would your pitch work in action? Challenge the listener to take action and illustrate their role within the pitch. Summarize how you would fit into this scenario and take the steps outlined by your proposal.
Elevator Pitch Examples
Not sure how to begin your elevator pitch? Planning out the perfect pitch can often be overwhelming, since it requires condensing your overall goals and strengths in just a short amount of time.
It can often be very helpful to take a look at various examples of 30-second elevator pitches. By learning what works in other examples, you can create a template for building your own unique proposal. Whether you are crafting the perfect pitch to explain a product or startup, there are numerous examples that can help serve as effective guidelines.
While it is important to have a basic elevator pitch at the ready, it is still a good idea to make a few changes depending on where you will be making the pitch. Designing an elevator pitch for a career expo, for example, may require a different approach than crafting a pitch for job seekers.