An elevator pitch is not some “sell it quickly” push in an elevator. Rather, it is a very succinct summary that a person gives in the time it takes an elevator to go from the ground floor to the top of a building. It should be around 30 seconds in length and 75 words long.
An elevator pitch can be about an idea, product, or even a person. They are vitally important because opportunity rarely knocks twice, and it makes a great conversation starter. In addition, it is a wonderful answer to the ever-popular interview question, “Tell me about yourself.”
Creating the perfect elevator pitch can be tricky, so sticking to a tried and true formula can help a person go from just standing in line at the grocery store to landing a job interview with the perfect company.
What to Include in the Perfect Pitch
The perfect elevator pitch should answer four questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you believe?
- What do you do?
- What do you want?
Who Are You?
First, begin with a smile. Some type of warm greeting such as, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” along with first and last name will put the receiver at ease. Many people make the mistake of rushing into their pitch, and forget their formalities, because they fear that they won’t have enough time. It’s a bad look that no one wants to wear.
What Do You Believe?
There is no direction without belief. Begin with the “Why” in mind and the rest will come naturally. When a person feels your passion about a project, job, or idea, they are more likely to listen to what is said after. If they can believe in your “why” too, the hard work is done.
What Do You Do?
Now that they know the why behind the drive, they need to know the how. Highlighting experience or credentials is always helpful when trying to help a potential customer or employer see the exact reason a job or idea is perfect coming from you.
It’s perfectly fine to write down all credentials and then go back and look for the ones that make a difference in the elevator pitch. Remember, don’t overwhelm someone new with too many points they will not remember. Rather, stick to only the best ones that they will definitely remember.
What Do You Want?
Now that they know the who, why, and how, tell them what is wanted. During this important last part of the pitch, they need a clear focus on what it is exactly that you have to offer and why they shouldn’t let you walk away until they have it too!