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So an elevator pitch is a term that’s been tossed around for a while now, and there’s no chance you haven’t heard of it. You probably know that it is a pretty important thing as well. But do you know what it really means?
What is the purpose of an elevator pitch?
This is a speech that should last as long as an average elevator ride. Your goal is to present yourself in the given timeframe in such a way that the listener wishes to know more about you. The ideal scenario would be that they wish to work with you. Of course, that’s not an easy task if you are unsure of what it should look like.
Let’s start off with a few general tips:
–Be brief– that’s the whole point of an elevator pitch. Because of its briefness, you go straight to the point. Two minutes should be your maximum.
–Keep it simple– you want your listener to understand everything that you said. Use everyday, simple English. Leave your poetic expressions or jargon for another opportunity.
–Make it personal– you want them to see your drive. Your job is to show them that you are personally motivated for the job and that passion is what will set you apart from the rest.
Step one: write it down
This is how you start. You get a sheet of paper and start from the very beginning. You can put everything you want to say in bullet points, and then start writing your pitch. Having it written down will make it one hundred times easier for you.
Step two: Make an entrance
Grab the person’s attention. You can’t stand in the corner mumbling and hoping someone will notice you. It doesn’t really matter how good your pitch is if no one is listening to you. You can start with “I always wanted a chance to talk to someone from (and then you insert the name of the company). Hi, I’m (your name)”.
Step three: Introduce yourself
You are going into this with the purpose of possible employment. Introduce yourself in a brief sentence by telling them what you do. Be brief about it, don’t give them your whole history background. They probably don’t care about it at the moment, and you don’t have that much time either.
Step four: What is it that you want?
This is a sentence that is supposed to express your goal for the future. Why are you talking to them and why is it important. You should express a goal that will be enticing enough to make them want to work with you (or at least intrigue them enough to want to hear more from you).
Step five: Let them know about your qualities
The days where you list: “I’m organized, team-player, responsible,…” are long gone. Anyone can recite a list of interesting qualities. Furthermore, all these things have become a cliché and no one wants to hear about it.
Rather than just shooting random adjectives into the sky, tell them about the thing that makes you unique. Tell them about a problem you encountered on your previous job and how you managed to overcome it. That will make them want to have someone like you by their side.
Step six: Wrap it up
This is the part where you tell them what you expect to happen next. Maybe the best thing to do would be to hand in your card with your information and where they can contact you. You can finish with “I hope to hear from you, thank you for your time” or maybe even ask them if they would be willing to share their information with you.
Remember: practice makes perfect!
Your elevator pitch shouldn’t be an improvisation. If you opt for that, your chances of a successful pitch will significantly decrease. Practice it, and practice well. You don’t want to freeze in the middle of it, unsure of what comes next. Have everything you need to say in order. Record yourself so you get to hear the product that they’ll get from you. Know your strong points and work on your weak points. Improve everything you can.