6 Tips for Crafting a Winning Elevator Pitch

A networking situation can happen anytime and anywhere with anyone. Your elevator pitch can come in handy whether you present it to a recruiter at a networking event or your friend’s neighbor at the local supermarket. It’s how you get your foot in the door of the hidden job market and it can even be used during an interview, for cold calling or as a part of your cover letter. Influential people are often the busiest people, so spend time preparing the perfect elevator pitch to give a stellar first impression.

Here are six tips to help you craft a winning elevator pitch:

  1. Be Specific
  2. After describing who you are and what you do or offer, the meat of your elevator pitch is in convincing your audience that you should be hired. Use specific examples to emphasize and demonstrate your strengths. If you’re a team player or are skilled at building relationships, explain how with a short, captivating story.

  3. Prepare Different Versions
  4. When you give your pitch, you want it to sound as natural as possible. Some slang words may help you connect better with your peers, but industry-specific terminology or technical vocabulary can demonstrate your expertise with people in your field. Generally, your 80-year-old great aunt should be able to easily understand your elevator pitch, so that you can present it to just about anyone in your network.

  5. Remember That It’s Not All About You
  6. Your elevator pitch is all about you in the sense that you’re talking about yourself the whole time, but it’s essentially not about you. It’s about answering your audience’s burning question: “What’s in it for me?” The purpose of your elevator pitch is to convince the other person that you have the skills, abilities and background he or she needs. Take your audience’s point of view and focus on how you can solve a problem for or benefit them.

  7. End with a Request
  8. You won’t get exactly what you want unless you ask for it, so conclude your elevator by stating your goal. You may mention that you’re looking for a follow-up meeting, for a referral or to be introduced to a certain person. Alternatively, you may simply want to leave your business card and ask your new contact to pass it on if he or she hears of suitable opportunities.

  9. Keep It Fresh
  10. Be on the lookout for ways to update and refine your elevator pitch. You may set a new record or gather new accomplishments that you can use as strong examples for your pitch. As you listen to others’ pitches, let yourself be inspired with new ideas for phrases or hooks that can grab your audience’s attention and give your pitch a greater impact.

  11. Gather Feedback
  12. After spending so much time on your pitch, you’ll want outsiders’ opinions to help you polish up your spiel. Start by being an outsider to yourself. Record yourself giving the pitch and be self-critical as you play the recording back. Do you sound passionate? Have you convinced yourself that you should be hired? Now ask for feedback from respected individuals inside and outside of your field and implement their comments for the perfect pitch.

What worked or didn’t work in your elevator pitch?

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