Mastering Your Elevator Pitch

Mastering your elevator pitch

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As you may know, networking is one of the best ways to get hired. As years have gone by, we have seen people get jobs based on who they know rather than what they know. Someone who has minimal connections may be losing out on job opportunities because of their lack of a network. Even if you have an extensive network, it may still be beneficial for you to expand it. One way to grow your network is through an elevator pitch.

networking to find a job

What is an elevator pitch? The name “elevator pitch” comes from the notion that it should be under 60 seconds, which is the same time it takes for an elevator ride. The goal for an elevator pitch is not to boast about yourself or to explain what you are currently doing, but to get to know the individuals and express your future goals. This pitch isn’t going to end with you getting a job position, but instead, the goal is to exchange contact information for you to reach out to them later.

Let’s first start discussing why having an elevator pitch handy is necessary for everyone. If you have seen Shark Tank, you know that elevator pitches make products sell. In addition, they can help you market yourself to a future employer.

If you are in an elevator, walking the same route as someone, or meeting someone for a brief moment, this would be the best time to bring out your elevator pitch!

First things first, the elevator pitch is only supposed to be a brief overview of yourself. More than likely, the person you are talking to will be busy thinking about other things rather than your conversation. However, the only goal of the pitch is to make that initial connection for later. You don’t want your pitch to last 2 or 3 minutes because the other individual will probably lose your attention after 30 seconds if you don’t grab their attention. The most important thing is, don’t waste their time with a pitch for more than 60 seconds.

Let’s dive into what steps you need to take to make a perfect elevator pitch. Once you master it, you will see more job opportunities open for yourself.

Always Be Ready For Your Elevator Pitch

You never know when you will need your elevator pitch. Some of the best and craziest places people have used their elevator pitch for success are summer barbeques, reunions, parents’ dinner parties, the gym, and much more.

The opportunity to use your pitch will come out of nowhere, so make sure you are always prepared. The best way to prepare would be to practice consistently.

How do you start? Take some time to take notes on topics you would like to talk about for your elevator pitch. Do not just list off your achievements or life story, but focus on your future goals. Talk about what you are working on and what you plan on doing in the future. Don’t sound robotic about it when going through your pitch. If you do start to sound robotic, the individual you are speaking to will likely not consider hiring you in the future.

The best way to not sound robotic is to write down five bullet points on what you want to discuss on your elevator pitch and make sure to discuss them during your pitch in-person. Practicing in front of a mirror can also help you get away from your stage fright!

elevator pitch practice

Easing into your Elevator Pitch!

Most of the time, you will be doing your elevator pitch on someone you know. Whether than is a friend of a friend or someone you follow on social media, make sure you acknowledge how you know them.

You don’t want to start just going into your elevator pitch. Instead, get into a conversation with them and slowly incorporate your elevator pitch to the discussion.

When you do not know the individual that you are doing the elevator pitch for, make sure to acknowledge what you have in common. Introduce who you are and get to know a little more about them that isn’t too personal. Whether you start the conversation as, “I have the same suit at home,” or “Where did you get that tie,” these are great ways to start a conversation before introducing yourself.

Keep Your Conversation Short!

The name says it all, “elevator pitch.” I am sure you haven’t ever been on an elevator ride for more than 5 minutes. The Shanghai Tower goes from floor 1 to floor 95 in 45 seconds. You should be able to finish your pitch within that time. If your elevator pitch is longer than a minute, you will never be able to complete it before being interrupted.

Aim for a 45-second elevator pitch. Don’t try to fit all the information into 45 seconds by speaking faster than usual. Make sure you are talking at the same pace you usually would, but only have the pitch consist of 45 seconds of material. You want to only talk about the most important things, rather than smaller details.

When practicing, you should time yourself! Timing yourself is the easiest way to see if you can get the pitch to be under 45 seconds. Also, we suggest recording yourself and re-watching the footage. When re-watching, you will know if you are talking too fast.

Be Approachable

Don’t make the other person feel uncomfortable when doing your pitch. Make sure to make eye contact, and don’t be nervous! Handle the elevator pitch like a regular conversation, don’t stress.

You wouldn’t cross your arms or stare into the sky when having a regular conversation, would you?

It would be best if you were courteous and friendly, but don’t get too close and personal. Most of the time, the individual will not know you well, so make sure to keep your distance, especially during COVID-19.

Ask Questions and Exchange Contact Information

You don’t want to go through your whole pitch and never speak to the individual ever again. More likely than not, the individual will not go searching for you on social media or LinkedIn. This part of the elevator pitch is to get contact information. Whether that is linking up on LinkedIn or exchanging phone numbers, you need to have some way to reach back out to them.

The purpose of the elevator pitch is for an introduction, not a close. You will not get a job offer immediately after your elevator pitch, but you may be one step closer to getting one! An elevator pitch is one of the best ways to expand your network!

It would be best if you were courteous and friendly, but don’t get too close and personal. Most of the time, the individual will not know you well, so make sure to keep your distance, especially during COVID-19. These tips will give you the best chance of landing an interview! If you need some interview tips, check out our blog!

We would love to help you find your next job or give you tips and tricks on your elevator pitch! Contact us at 401.331.2311!

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