Crafting the Perfect Pitch

7 Tips to Create a Successful Elevator Speech

An effective elevator speech is a personal branding statement that highlights your professional background, knowledge, and skills. Typically no more than 30–60 seconds (the estimated time it takes to ride an elevator to desired floors), it quickly and clearly identifies who you are, why you are unique, and what benefits you can offer — in short, why you are the ideal candidate for a desired position.

Being prepared with a polished elevator speech is a perfect way to spotlight your experience, skills, and accomplishments anytime, anywhere. Professionally, it can be used when meeting with leadership in the workplace, conversing at networking events, or introducing yourself at a job interview. Personally, there are ample opportunities to use your speech through casual conversations at the gym, kids’ sports events, or at a neighborhood gathering.

Before you can soundly convince someone that you are the ideal candidate, you’ll need to prepare. Use these tips to help craft a successful, customized elevator speech:

  • Add an attention-getter. Incorporate an interesting fact or stat to use at the beginning of your speech. Your goal is to immediately engage someone so that he or she is intrigued and wants to learn more.
  • Know yourself. Draft an inventory of your best personal attributes, key strengths, and accomplishments. Define what contributions you can make, and what problems you can solve.
  • Identify your unique selling proposition. Determine your competitive advantage in the workplace. What do you offer that others do not?
  • Know your purpose. What is your goal? Are you seeking a new job, changing careers, or in search of advancement?
  • Tailor your speech. Focus your message on the needs of the potential employer or targeted industry. Your audience will want to know what’s in it for them.
  • Wrap up your speech with a call to action. Express your purpose in relaying your information, be it a request for a referral, a future meeting, or a job interview. Provide your contact information and thank them for their time.
  • Read your pitch aloud. Your delivery should be natural, conversational, and sincere. Try rehearsing in front of a mirror, or with a friend or family member. Ensure your speech is within the 30–60-second parameter.

A well-honed elevator speech can leave a memorable first impression and open the door to your next job or career. Be ready with your elevator speech when the opportunity presents itself. Remember, too, as your career progresses, you’ll want to update your speech to reflect your most current experience and credentials.

For more tools and tips on how to land your next job, visit Career Services.