What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a persuasive sales pitch used to spark someone’s interest in you. A good elevator pitch is meant to be brief, so it should be no longer than the amount of time you’d spend with someone riding an elevator. An ideal elevator pitch only lasts 20 to 30 seconds, which means you must make every word count. Your pitch could be what lands you that job interview.
Tips for how to do an elevator pitch
Start with a blank sheet of paper.
What do you do?
What have you achieved?
What are your goals?
Number your paper from 1 to 10 and list the top 10 things that are most important about you. Think about questions like:
When narrowing down your list, focus on unique details that will make you stand out.
Edit your pitch.
Since elevator pitches are meant to be brief, it’s critical that you eliminate any information that is:
Additionally, consider whether you’ve left out any key information.
Be sure that each aspect of your point supports one main point. If you were to get cut off, what would you want the person you were pitching to to remember?
Prioritize your points.
Practice, practice, practice.
Practice on someone you know.
- Pitch in an elevator.
When determining the structure of your pitch, make sure you lead with what’s most important and with something that will capture someone’s attention. First impressions are formed in a matter of seconds!
Practice out loud and in the mirror. The more you practice, the more natural and conversational your pitch will feel.
Consider recording yourself giving the pitch and then watch it back. This gives you a chance to hear your tone, gauge your speed, recognize any filler words and address any nervous fidgeting or habits.
Ask a friend or family member to listen to your pitch and ask them for feedback. A friendly audience will help you build confidence and can provide a fresh perspective on your pitch.
What message did they get from your speech? Is this the point you were hoping to make? If not, decide on ways to emphasize it more clearly and effectively.
Next time you are in an elevator, practice your speech. If you’re alone, run through your speech to gauge timing. If there’s a stranger there with you, try your pitch out on them! You may have to step out of your comfort zone, but it’s a great opportunity to practice engaging with someone you don’t know.
Virginia College does not guarantee employment or advancement.