You know the drill.. You get on the elevator. And you’ve got anywhere from 30-90 seconds to spill the beans and sell yourself, your business, or your product, all before those doors open. Yikes. If you get sidetracked or lose focus, you’ll lose out on those winning moments where you had a chance to shine. Whether it’s in a job interview or with a potential date, losing track of who you are, what your goals are, and what your true purpose is, can cost you everything. Here’s how to master your personal elevator pitch in the knick of time.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
A term most often used in the sales force, an elevator pitch is a short speech designed to sum up your company and its values within seconds. If you find it hard to pinpoint exactly what you want to say about yourself or your brand, you’ll need to summarize and refine your thoughts long before being hit with the question, “what do you do?” It’s crucial that you’ve nailed the elevator pitch down if you want your business to be perceived as professional, and driven with a plan. Did you know the elevator pitch can and should be used to market and brand yourself? Here’s how.
How the Elevator Pitch Brands You
Think of that definitive moment where you’re asked what you do for a living. How easily does the response flow? Some people will be very lackluster in their reply and say something along the lines of, “I’m in sales.” Others will carry on with their life story, their first job, their college education, their part-time job at the grill, and what they do in their spare time. It gets confusing and loses its power. Although many adults have had plenty of practice describing themselves through dating profiles, it’s still important to understand how the elevator pitch can impact your positioning and can make or break personal relationships. When people want to know more about you, it’s up to you to craft a response that invites conversation and sparks intrigue. Quickly.
Tips for Your Personal Elevator Pitch
- Write it Out- When summarizing who you are and what you do you should consider writing everything out first. This allows you time to delete and omit unnecessary details that are irrelevant to the here and now.
- Stay present- Which then means you need to stay in the present. Focus on what you’re doing today. Don’t look back five years ago and don’t think too far into the future. Where are you now and what does that mean?
- How did you get there? An interesting personal elevator pitch can and should start with a quick backstory. “I’ve always dreamed of being a football player so I worked hard throughout school and ended up getting scouted for the NFL. I’m playing for my favorite team now as the quarterback.” Impressive. Short. Sweet. Can I get an autograph? Even if you don’t have the same success, you still have some beginning point that has driven you to your current place. So, incorporate that beginning and make it your introduction.
- Practice- Practice makes perfect. Repeat your elevator pitch as many times as you need to until it feels and sounds natural. Your elevator pitch is the story of you and it should never feel forced or fictitious.
The best part about crafting a quick and impressive elevator pitch is that you can begin using it in all your professional encounters. Whether that be on cover letters or as you meet a new collegue, you will always know what to say about yourself when called upon. If you want to avoid the embarrassment of falling quiet when asked, “describe yourself” at the next company meeting, start working on your personal elevator pitch today.