Delivering the Perfect Elevator Pitch (With Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 9 January 2023
Published 26 May 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Elevator pitches are short introductions about your professional life. They are helpful both in the hiring process and when making business connections. In this article, we discuss their importance, present elevator pitch examples and show you how to create one for yourself.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a quick, succinct introduction of yourself to a business connection. The person could be a prospective employer or a collaborative partner. Mastering your elevator pitch can help tell someone about yourself and detail how you can be of use to them. Elevator pitches are named so because they should take only 30 to 60 seconds to deliver, the same amount of time as it takes to ride in a lift (or elevator).
Why are elevator pitches important?
Having a strong elevator pitch is incredibly powerful for you as a professional since most professionals at networking events or in the general hiring process don't have time for long, detailed stories about what potential staff members or collaborators can offer. However, a solid elevator pitch can leave a lasting impact on whoever you are talking to. They use the information in your pitch to quickly decide whether you're suitable for their business purposes, which will save time for both of you.
Elevator pitches are adaptable. You could use yours at an interview or at networking events. It may need some tweaks over time as you add more achievements to your career. However, it's great to have a framework pitch that you can build upon.
When can you deliver an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is useful in a variety of settings, including:
At a careers fair
If you are looking for a job, careers events are fantastic places to use elevator pitches. You'll only have the opportunity to speak to prospective employers for a few minutes, so having an elevator pitch already in mind will help to open a discussion in a positive, productive way.
Don't start with the pitch straight away. First, introduce yourself and, if the employer doesn't ask for your introduction, ask them if you can give them your brief background. The potential employer should be able to tell you if they have any suitable opportunities for you from your pitch, and you can take their email address or contact information to speak further.
Even if they don't remember your pitch after the fair, you could email them and remind them of your interaction, including your written elevator pitch. If they responded positively at the careers fair, they may do so again when you contact them.
At a networking event
Networking events are also excellent places to deliver your elevator pitch. Like at a careers fair, you can open by introducing yourself and then ask if you can briefly detail your business background. These events are useful for finding business collaborators or just making professional contacts in your industry, and delivering your elevator pitch can help you meet the right people.
In job applications
You can use your elevator pitch on the cover letter of job applications. Elevator pitches should be about 75 words when written down, which is the length of an average-sized paragraph. Including this in your cover letter helps provide a brief overview of the highlights of your career.
In profiles online
An elevator pitch is the right length to include in any online business profile. It's a good way to show who you are and what you can offer quickly. If you include specific keywords, recruiters will be able to find you when searching for people with various skills. However, if you use your elevator pitch for both online profiles and cover letters, you should change your wording slightly, as employers who read your cover letter may also read the same thing on your profile.
How to write an elevator pitch
Writing an elevator pitch can be challenging, as you need to summarise yourself, your job and your business intentions in a concise speech or paragraph. Here are some steps to help you write yours:
1. Start with introductions
First, you need to introduce yourself, so tell them your name and title. If you are at an event, you should also acknowledge the other person. It's important to smile and tell them that it is nice to meet them.
2. Explain what you do
Next, it's the body of the speech. Here you tell the other person what your job title is, any specialisms you have or your education background. You should also tell the other person about any particular strengths you have. Make sure that you are selective with the information you put into this section. You should avoid mentioning anything that isn't crucial to explaining what you do or justifying what you ask for.
3. Outline what you're looking for
There needs to be a reason why you are delivering this pitch. It could be to stay in contact with a particular person, to find a job or to collaborate with other business professionals.
4. Include a call to action
A call to action helps you to set aside a specific time to resume this conversation in more detail. This could be by setting up a call or simply getting an email address and confirming that you will be in touch. If the person you are speaking to declines your call to action, politely thank them for their time and suggest that you get in contact sometime in the future.
Elevator pitch examples
Here are two examples of elevator pitches that consider the key points we've discussed:
'Hello, my name is Rita. It's really nice to meet you! I have just graduated from university with a MA in advertising. I've done placements with Woolworths and Hungry Jack's, and I have focussed on food marketing throughout my degrees. I'm really interested in your company and love how forward-thinking you are. I'd like to discuss any available positions on your advertising team. Would you be free next week for a call to discuss this further?'
'Hello, my name is Andrew. It's great to meet you! I am an assistant manager at Brisbane airport. One of my duties is to organise our airport stores. We will have a vacancy next year. I'm a big fan of your brand, and I think you could experience some real benefits from opening an airport store. It would be great if I could give you a bit more detail about this. Could I get your business card so I can send some information over?'
Tips for delivering your elevator pitch
If you are not used to giving speeches or pitches, you may require some practice. Here are some tips to ensure that you deliver your pitch successfully:
Even though you may have rehearsed this speech, avoid sounding over-rehearsed. Try to speak in an engaging, easy-going tone and make eye contact with the person you are speaking to. You can practice delivering your pitch to friends and family.
The idea is to deliver your pitch in 30 to 60 seconds, but it's important that you speak clearly, so the listener can process everything you are saying. Try to take deep breaths, pause at the end of sentences and pronounce all words clearly.
Use simple language
Make sure that the listener will easily understand your pitch. You should avoid using figurative language, like similes and metaphors, jokes or any technical jargon. You should also avoid using complex or advanced words. Instead, use simple descriptions that will help the listener remember what you said.
Know which pitch to use
You can re-use your pitch in different settings, but make sure that you highlight the most relevant information to the listener. You may like to have two or three pitches that showcase different areas of your expertise, or, if you have the opportunity, you could tailor the pitch to a specific company. This shows enthusiasm and interest in working with one particular business, which is always appreciated.
Elevator pitches are helpful in many parts of professional life, from getting hired to making new business connections. Most professionals will write an elevator pitch at some point in their professional life to ensure they have a reliable way to introduce themselves to new business contacts. Whether you are beginning your job hunt or looking for more business opportunities, now is a great time to write one.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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