How To Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

If you’re a job seeker, one of the things you should have at the top of your to-do list is creating a successful and unique elevator pitch. Related: How Impressive Is Your Elevator Pitch? According to career coach and owner of Hook the Talent, Rosemary Hook, an elevator pitch is a 10-20 second self-introduction of who you are professionally. The intent of an elevator pitch is to learn as much about the listener as you can. Not only that, but it also helps you determine how you can help one another.

How To Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Ten to twenty seconds isn’t much time to tell someone about all of your professional talents, and trying to condense years of experience into mere seconds can be a stressful, difficult task. Here are some tips on how to perfect your elevator pitch:

Who, What, How, And Closing

According to Hook, it's very important to give your full-name to your listener. “There are a lot of Kathys, Bobs, and Joes out there,” she said. Also, giving your full-name will make it easier for the listener to find you online. Disclosing only your first name tells your listener nothing and you’ll already be off to a bad start. You should explain what you do and how you do it in your elevator pitch, just like you would in a cover letter. “Share your area of expertise and/or your industries you’re interested in,” said Hook. Also, explain how you service others or companies. After you close, you definitely want to hear what your listener has to say in response to what he/she just heard. Hook recommends closing with an open-ended question for your listener to answer. This will keep the conversation going and ultimately help you learn more about the listener’s company and how it could benefit you to network with this person.

Be Memorable

Since an elevator pitch doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to stand out, you have to make every second count. “Tie your name or what you do to something current, famous-related, or unique,” said Hook. You could tie your name to a famous actor and relate it to what you do or what you’re selling. If you’d like to go for the unique approach, talking about an interesting hobby you do in your spare time could also be a good way to keep your audience engaged in what you’re saying. “This gives you an opening to ask what they do in their spare time thus learning more about them personally versus only professionally,” Hook said.

Be Flexible And Conversational

While you should have a good idea of what you’re going to say, memorizing your elevator pitch isn’t a good idea. “If you memorize your elevator pitch, you're likely to sound robotic,” said Hook. Memorizing your speech would probably only work at formal networking events where one is required to share their elevator pitches. “The pitch should sound conversational in nature - part of a give and take of information between you and the listener,” said Hook. “Job seekers should be prepared to adjust and massage the content of their pitch according to the environment they find themselves in and the person(s) they're speaking with.”

Keep It Relevant

We don’t always know who we’re going to share our elevator pitch with. That's why it’s important to engage your audience in a conversation to learn more about them, so you can adjust your speech accordingly. “If for example you're a social media expert... and the person you're speaking with is not or barely understands what social media is, you'll torture them if you continue on with your standard pitch,” said Hook. “Find out about them instead... That's a conversation that can lead to finding out from a non-expert who the social media expert is in their company.” Remember, an elevator pitch has a purpose just like your resume and your cover letter, but with more room for you to shine as an individual and an expert in your field. If you can network successfully with an individual through a short, but memorable conversation it can lead to more opportunities for you as a professional. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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