When you want to attract business, make a professional connection, or land a job after earning an MBA, having a solid elevator pitch is essential. Elevator pitches are a way to make a great impression on others and encourage them to check out what you have to offer. With the right pitch, you can gain new customers, network, or end up with a job interview. Writing a good elevator pitch takes some effort, but the following insights and tips can make it easier for you to do.
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a short speech you can use to market your products or services or even yourself. These pitches are usually about a minute long, so it’s important to make them as effective as possible. Imagine being in an elevator and only having a limited time to tell someone what your business is or what you can offer their company as an employee. An elevator pitch helps you accomplish this.
Why Is an Elevator Pitch Important?
Elevator pitches can help you market goods or services, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a company employee. You can use these pitches to network with other professionals in your industry as well. Networking can lead to lucrative opportunities for your career or possible partnerships that benefit your company. Elevator pitches can also be used when you’re looking for a job. Having a well-written pitch can help you land a job interview or draw new customers to your business.
When and How to Use an Elevator Speech
Elevator speeches or pitches aren’t just for elevator rides. You can use your elevator speech in a wide range of settings. Knowing when to use your elevator pitch and how to use it is just as important as having an effectively written one. You can plan on using your elevator pitch in any of the following settings or any time when you have an opportunity to talk to a potential employer, prospective customer, or fellow professional.
Career fairs offer great opportunities to put your elevator pitch to use. A career fair is a chance to meet employers and make a good impression on them when you are job hunting. Since you only have a limited amount of time to chat with employers at these events, having a well-crafted elevator pitch that you have memorized and practiced delivering can be a big benefit.
Professional Networking or Industry Events
When you attend events in your industry, such as conferences, you can pitch this prepared message to other professionals. You can also use your elevator pitch at any networking events in order to quickly let others know what you and your company has to offer. This can lead to new business or partnerships for your company.
Your elevator pitch doesn’t always have to be vocal. You can use an expertly written elevator pitch as your online bio on your website, social media pages, or other online accounts. Since these pitches need to be short, they can be used for a short bio that makes it easy for others to know what you have to offer in terms of skills, past work experience, or the products or services you’re selling.
Prepare to Write Your Elevator Pitch
Writing an elevator pitch involves some preparation. Taking the time to prepare can help you focus on writing a highly effective pitch that makes a memorable impression on your audience. To help prepare, consider looking for an elevator pitch template or reading through elevator pitch examples online. These can help you understand how to structure your pitch and how to make it stand out.
Know Your Stuff
Think about what you have to offer, whether you’re selling products or services or trying to land a job interview. Write down your skills and past work experience if you’re looking for jobs. If you’re selling goods or services, focus on what your company can offer others.
Know Your Audience
The way you write your elevator pitch will depend on who you’re writing it for. Your audience might be potential employers at a job fair, fellow professionals at an industry event, or prospective customers and clients. Your pitch should be tailored to your audience in order to make a good impression on them.
Know Your Value
Whether you’re marketing your skills as an employee or marketing goods and services, focus on value. Think about how your skills can benefit potential employers or how your products or services can provide a solution to problems potential customers are dealing with. Demonstrating how valuable you or your products or services are can encourage your audience to take the next step and do business with you or contact you for a job interview.
Know Your Purpose
This depends on why you’re using an elevator pitch and who your audience is. For job hunting, encourage your audience to get in touch with you for a job interview. For networking, give your audience your contact information to discuss business matters. For selling products or services, encourage customers to visit your website for more information on what you’re selling or call your company for additional details.
Elevator Pitch Format
Becoming familiar with a standard elevator pitch template can help you learn how to structure yours. While you can set up elevator pitches in various ways, some formats might not be as effective. For example, starting with a call to action or not introducing yourself at first might not make a good impression on your audience. Aim to format your pitch in the following way.
You should start by introducing yourself to your audience, whether that’s an employer, networking connection, or customer. Tell them your name, give them a smile, and include a short comment, such as “it’s nice to meet you.” Your introduction should be kept short, so you can spend most of your pitch on what you’re selling.
Explain What You Do and Why It’s Valuable
This part of your elevator speech gives your audience some background information on you. Ideally, you should be able to do this in a couple of sentences. Let your audience know what you do in terms of your skills and career or your products or services and why they are valuable.
State Your Goal
The next part of your elevator pitch should focus on what you want to accomplish with this speech. If you’re job hunting, let your audience know why you want to work for their company or why you’re interested in an available position. If you’re networking, let your audience know you’re interested in how your company might be able to benefit their business. If you’re marketing products or services, let your audience know how they can purchase these from your company.
Call to Action
Your call to action should encourage your audience to reach out to you. For example, you might ask an employer at a career fair to call you, so you can ask for more details about an available position. For customers, you might ask them to visit your website to see a full selection of your products or services or call your company to speak to a customer service representative.
Tips on Delivering Your Elevator Pitch
When you have your elevator pitch written, your next step is working on delivering it to your audience. How you deliver your elevator speech can have a big impact on how effective it is. The following tips can help ensure you make a great impression on your audience when you give your elevator pitch.
Always practice an elevator pitch before delivering it in person. This can help you figure out how to edit your speech as needed or work on improving your delivery. With practice, you might notice that you need to trim down your pitch a bit or make parts of it stronger. Practicing your pitch can also help you feel more confident about delivering it to your audience.
You should be able to deliver your elevator pitch in one go without having to repeat any parts of it. In order to do this, make sure you speak clearly, so your audience can hear and understand everything you’re saying. Speaking clearly also makes you seem more confident when you deliver your pitch, which also helps make a good impression on your audience.
Be Natural and Enthusiastic
Your elevator pitch shouldn’t sound like you’re repeating it from memory or rushing to get through it. When you give your elevator speech, make it sound natural and let your enthusiasm shine through. Sounding natural and enthusiastic can help you impress your audience and make you seem more genuine, whether you’re speaking to a potential employer, networking connection, or customer. When practicing your pitch, focus on the tone of your voice in order to accomplish this.
Test on Others
Ask a friend or family member to listen to your elevator pitch and give you feedback on it. They might be able to point out errors you overlooked in your speech. They can also let you know what kind of impression your elevator pitch makes on them. If you have a mentor, you can test your elevator pitch on them.
What Not to Do During Your Elevator Speech
Knowing what not to do during your elevator speech is just as important as knowing what to do. You only get one chance to deliver your elevator speech to each audience member, whether you are job hunting, networking, or marketing products or services. The following tips can help you know how not to handle your elevator pitch when you have a chance to use it in person.
Since an elevator pitch is ideally about a minute long, you should avoid rambling through it. Elevator pitches need to be concise, so make sure yours gets right to the point. Otherwise, you risk having your audience not understand what you’re selling or why they should consider it. Delivering a short and effective pitch helps ensure your audience knows what you have to offer and why it’s so valuable.
Don’t Use too Much Jargon
Filling your elevator pitch with jargon might make you sound like a professional in your industry, but it might not impress your audience. Too much jargon can cause your speech to sound insincere rather than genuine. If you’re speaking to customers, they might not understand what you mean when you throw too much jargon into your speech. Focus on filling your elevator pitch with words that get your message across clearly and effectively.
Don’t Speak too Quickly
Although elevator pitches are short and quick, avoid rushing through yours when speaking to your audience. Rushing through your elevator speech can make it hard for your audience to follow what you’re saying. They might miss out on important information you’re delivering. Speaking too quickly can also make you seem nervous rather than confident, which can lead to a negative impression on your audience.
A good elevator pitch is even more impressive when you mention having an MBA. Contact the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for more information about our Master of Business Administration degree program. Our school has a Flexible MBA program with on-campus and online classes, as well as a fully Online MBA program.
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