How to Craft a Winning Elevator Pitch

how to write an elevator pitch

Close your eyes and picture yourself at a networking event. Top industry leaders whom you’ve admired for years are in attendance. At one point during the event, you step into the elevator, and a moment later, a top CEO enters behind you. The doors close.

Here’s your once-in-a lifetime chance to make a lasting impression that could make or break your career. What do you say?

This scenario would be the ideal time for you to have your elevator pitch ready.

What’s that? You don’t have an elevator pitch prepared? Well, then this week’s blog is especially for you.

What Exactly is an Elevator Pitch? 

An elevator pitch is a concise and compelling personal introduction that’s designed to be delivered in two minutes or less. Basically, it should be short enough that you can share it with someone who’s riding an elevator with you.

An elevator pitch is meant to grab hold of the listener’s attention, give them two or three key facts about yourself, and leave them with a strong impression of who you are and the value you offer. At the end of your pitch, you want the listener to think to themselves, “I want to stay in touch with this person.”

An elevator pitch is basically what you’ll want to include in your resume summary too quickly and concisely showcase the value you bring to an employer.

When Should You Use an Elevator Pitch?

how to write an elevator pitch

These are a few common scenarios where having a strong elevator pitch prepared will serve you well:

  • Job interviews: Most job interviews start out with the question, “tell me about yourself.” Your elevator pitch is the perfect way to answer.
  • Networking events: If you’re attending a conference or a workshop, be sure to have your elevator pitch prepared so you can easily describe yourself to as many people as possible.
  • Almost anywhere: An elevator pitch can be used anywhere you happen to meet someone who would be a good connection. This could be at the gym, a coffee shop, a laundromat, and yes, sometimes even in an elevator.


How Long Should Your Elevator Pitch Be? 

In general, your elevator pitch shouldn’t be more than two minutes long. In fact, the shorter it is, the better because people tend to stop listening after about 30 seconds.

The exact length of your elevator pitch may depend on your situation. In a chance encounter with someone, a shorter, punchier pitch would likely make you more memorable. You can expand your pitch to be one to two minutes at networking events and job interviews, where your audience is expecting a more detailed answer.

How Do You Craft a Winning Elevator Pitch? 

Follow these eight steps to create an impactful elevator pitch that listeners will remember:

  1. Define your goal. Are you looking to make new business contacts? Do you want someone to hire you? Are you seeking a promotion? Knowing why you’re creating your elevator pitch is crucial.
  2. Include a personal introduction. Near the top of your pitch, you should include your name, current title or position, and a brief statement of the expertise you bring to the table.
  3. Talk about your value proposition. What sets you apart from the competition? In what unique way can you solve a problem the listener has? Make sure the listener knows why they should want to pay attention to you.
  4. Know your audience. Consider who’s listening to your pitch and tailor the content to meet their needs. Are you talking to a recruiter or a hiring manager? Are you talking to someone who’s not in charge of hiring, but has influence in the company?
  5. Add a real-life example. If possible, weave in a real-life short story of a time you helped solve a problem or added value to an organization. Research shows that a story is remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.
  6. Practice. Practice your pitch until it feels natural to you. Say it while looking in a mirror. Deliver your pitch to colleagues and friends and ask for feedback. You want it to be clear and concise without sounding overly rehearsed.
  7. Include your call to action. Have an ask of the listener at the end of your pitch. Do you want to exchange contact information, set up a face-to-face meeting, or ask them to review your portfolio? Make sure the listener knows what you want from them.
  8. Update your pitch. Remember to revisit and revise your elevator pitch as your career grows, you gain more skills, and you achieve more. Make sure it accurately reflects the professional you are today.


How Should You Deliver Your Elevator Pitch?

how to write an elevator pitch

The effectiveness of your elevator pitch is not only what you say, but how you say it. After all, it was Albert Mehrabian’s research that showed us that most communication is non-verbal.

Try these eight tips for delivering an effective elevator pitch in any situation:

  1. Maintain eye contact with the listener to convey sincerity and confidence.
  2. Speak clearly and concisely. Avoid using industry jargon.
  3. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Speak authentically about what you can bring to the table and what you’re looking to achieve.
  4. Project positivity by smiling, keeping arms uncrossed, and facing your listener with an open stance.
  5. Maintain enthusiasm while you speak to convey that you are passionate about what you are saying.
  6. Rehearse your pitch until you don’t sound rehearsed. Maintain a conversational, spontaneous tone. You want to avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script.
  7. Be prepared to deliver your pitch in various situations. No matter where you are stay confident and calm.
  8. Deliver your pitch with confidence. Always speak as if the listener wants to know what you have to say.


What are Examples of an Elevator Pitch? 

Here are three elevator pitch examples that are 30 to 60 seconds in length. Use these to help jump-start the creation of your elevator pitch.

Example 1

“Hi, my name is [Name] and I’m a seasoned project manager with a proven track record of leading multi-pronged initiatives while meeting budget and time constraints. In my last role at [Previous Company], I implemented a new workflow that increased efficiency by 25%. I am truly passionate driving results and exceeding the expectations of clients. I am eager to bring my skills and innovative ideas to your organization. When can we set up a 30-minute call to discuss more about what I can do for you?”

Example 2

“Hi, I’m [Name]. As a skilled digital marketing manager, I’ve spent the last 10 years doing exactly what I love to do. I sit in the unique position of being able to develop data-driven campaigns that succeed in grabbing the attention of consumers and making them take action. At my previous agency, I led a team that used cutting-edge, data-driven strategies, which resulted in a 40% increase in online engagement for three of our biggest clients. I would be thrilled to bring my expertise to a dynamic team like yours. Can we exchange contact information and stay in touch?”

Example 3

“Hello, I’m [Name], a versatile copywriter who lives to create crisp, clean, compelling copy that makes the audience want to take action. With a 15-year background in pharmaceutical copywriting, I know the industry top to bottom. My favorite campaign was for an anti-anxiety medicine. The client was unsure about my tagline, “stop worrying about all that worrying” but it wound up being the most successful campaign that year. I would love to use the power of words to tell your brand’s story in a new and exciting way for your audience. Would you be open to me sharing my online portfolio with you?”

Use an Elevator Pitch to Get to the Top

how to write an elevator pitch

Up to 70% of jobseekers find jobs through networking. And crafting a great elevator pitch is an essential tool to help you make a lasting impression on people while you are networking and making new connections.  

If you need help crafting an elevator pitch, a cover letter, or a winning resume, then contact Empire Resume. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers find their dream jobs and we can help you too!

Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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