An elevator pitch is an abbreviated introduction that tells someone about you in the amount of time it takes to ride up a few floors in an elevator with them.
What you say varies a bit depending upon the context, but in general, it should cover who you are and enough about your career or career goal so the person you are talking to knows how to help you, if they feel inclined, or engage with you in some way that might forward your career.
So, let’s say you are a Production Assistant dropping someone off at Creative Artists Agency for your boss. You get in the elevator and a guy in an expensive suit is in there already.
He says, “Hi, I’m Bob.”
You say, “Hi, Bob. I’m Chris.”
“So, what’s your story, Chris?”
In his expensive suit and riding the elevator at CAA, Bob is probably an agent, studio executive, or lawyer.
You say, “I just graduated from BU. I won a couple of directing awards and I’m working as a PA while I try to break into TV directing.”
You’ve just given Bob everything he needs to know to progress the relationship forward. He knows you are a recent grad, a PA, a budding director with enough talent to win an award.
As the elevator doors open, Bob hands you his card and says, “Call my assistant Jeff and tell him I said to get in touch.”
This could be for another PA job or it could be that Jeff is about to become a Junior Agent in the lit department and needs director clients.
It doesn’t matter. The point is, you made contact and now you have Bob’s card.
What would you have said in that elevator? Would you have gotten Bob’s card?
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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