An Elevator Pitch is a brief introduction you can give to let others know who you are and what you do. Elevator pitches usually only last around 30 seconds, and they can leave a great first impression on other people. When you want to do an elevator pitch, only give the information that’s necessary so you can pique the other person’s interest. Once you prepare and practice your pitch, stay confident while you deliver it so you can make contacts!
EditWriting a Basic Pitch
- Introduce yourself and your background. Start your pitch by greeting the other person and saying your name so the other person knows who you are. After introducing yourself, tell the person your current job title or what you do for a living. Give a 1 sentence overview of what your work duties to develop more credibility with the other person.
- For example, you may say, “Hello, my name is John Doe, and I’m a sales representative. I work with customers on a daily basis to see what they need the most.”
- If you don’t currently have a job, tell them where you went to school or the last position that you held. For example, you could say, “Hi, my name is Jane Doe and I went to UCLA for business management.”
- Explain the service you’re pitching in 1 sentence if you’re a small business. Tell the other person the service you provide or the product that you sell. Avoid using jargon or words that could confuse the other person since it will ruin the flow of your pitch. Mention any achievements you may have had so the person understands exactly what you do.
- For example, you may say, “My company helps make independent retailers visible on the first page when they’re searched online.”
- You may also describe a product with a phrase like, “I’ve been developing software that helps you meet other people based on your shared interests.”
- If you aren’t pitching a business or a product, you can skip this.
- Tell the other person why you want to connect with them. Mention what you know about the other person, if anything, and why you think you or your business would be beneficial for them. Be kind throughout your pitch and give detailed examples of what you have to offer.
- You may say something like, “I’ve been following your company for a few years and loved everything you’ve put out. We can help rebrand your website to attract more traffic and revenue within a few weeks.”
- You could also try, “I’ve seen what you’ve done and I’m intrigued by how you manage your workflow. I’ve been a task manager for 3 years and would be a great asset to the team.”
- Be completely genuine with the other person so you don’t get caught in a lie if they ask questions.
- Ask for something specific at the end of the pitch. Near the end of your pitch, tell the other person the specific goal you want them to help you with. This could be asking for an internship, requesting a meeting, or offering them your service for a trial period. Ask them the question and wait for their response to see if they can help you.
- For example, you might say, “I’m currently looking for a summer internship and would love to work with you. What sorts of summer programs do you have to offer?”
- You could also try, “I’d appreciate learning from you to help improve my skills. Would you like to get a coffee and discuss being a mentor for me?”
- Try to ask an open-ended question that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer. That way, you’ll make the other person talk and connect with you more.
- Thank them for their time no matter the outcome. Give the person time to respond to your pitch to see if they want to continue having a discussion. Whether they say yes or no, say thank you for the opportunity and for listening to you. Tell them that they can reach out to you if they have any more questions you can answer.
- You can say something like, “I appreciate you taking the time to listen to me and I hope we can stay in touch.”
- If they give you contact info, tell them something like, “I’ll be sure to email you later today so we can keep in contact.”
- Always be as kind as you can, even if the pitch didn’t go as well as you hoped.
EditPracticing Your Pitch
- Time your pitch to be 30 seconds or less. Elevator pitches are meant to pique the interest of the person you’re talking to in a short amount of time. Start a timer on your phone and practice giving your pitch out loud. Try not to rush but don’t talk too slowly, or else you’ll run out of time. Keep practicing your elevator pitch until you can naturally finish it within the 30-second timeframe.
- Try practicing in front of a mirror so you can see your gestures and body language while you’re pitching.
- Record your pitch to see how it sounds. Set up a phone or camera to record the video and audio for your elevator pitch. Practice your pitch multiple times and then watch the video to see how you look and sound. If you struggle over any parts of your pitch, try revising that part so you can deliver it clearly.
- If you can’t easily record video, then only record the audio while practicing in front of a mirror.
- Avoid saying filler words during your pitch. Words like “um,” “uh,” or “like” don’t add anything to your pitch and make you sound less confident. When you record yourself, note how many times you use a filler word and try to cut it out next time you pitch. Instead of using filler words, take a second to be silent and collect your thoughts before continuing.
- Give your pitch to friends or family for feedback. Ask friends and family that are close to you to listen to your pitch and give you honest feedback. Talk to them after your pitch to see if anything was confusing to them or if they think any areas could be improved. Take their feedback and make any revisions you need to for your pitch.
- Try practicing your speech at different lengths of time. Since you won’t always have the same amount of time when you pitch, try condensing it down to 10-15 seconds instead. Keep the most important information, like who you are and what you can offer to the other person. Ask them a question to gauge interest and capture their attention.
- For example, you may say, “Hi, my name is Jane Doe and I’m a marketing specialist. Have you ever searched for something online and couldn’t find it?” That way, they can answer the question and continue the conversation if they want.
- Practice giving your pitch while you ride an elevator. If you really want to practice your timing, go to a building that has an elevator and ride it from the bottom to the top floor. Practice giving your pitch before the doors on the elevator open again. As you perfect your pitch, try stopping at different floors to complete your pitch faster.
- You don’t need to practice in a real elevator if you don’t want to.
- Practice while you’re alone in the elevator rather than when it’s filled with other people.
EditEngaging the Other Person
- Smile to show that you’re interested in them. Smiling helps you seem more approachable and confident so others are more likely to listen to you. Smile throughout your pitch and especially when you introduce yourself. Don’t force a smile throughout the whole pitch or it may seem unnatural.
- Smiling also makes your voice sound more pleasant.
- Use open body language to appear more inviting. Keep your arms at your side and avoid crossing them or else you’ll seem like you’re closing yourself off. Stand with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed to maintain good posture. Look straight ahead rather than down at the floor so you look confident.
- Make eye contact with the person you’re pitching to. Look at the other person directly in the eyes so you can make a connection with them. Don’t stare for too long or else they may get uncomfortable. Maintaining eye contact will help the other person know that you’re genuinely interested in them.
- If you’re pitching to multiple people at once, then be sure to make eye contact with each of them.
- Be prepared to answer follow-up questions. The other person may ask you questions about yourself or your business after you’ve pitched them, so make sure you’re familiar with important information, such as the number of clients you work with or how long you’ve been in business. Answer any questions truthfully so you can develop a good repertoire with the other person.
- If you aren’t able to answer basic questions, your pitch may sound too rehearsed and you may seem uninformed.
- Give out contact information if they are interested in your pitch. If the pitch went well, see if the other person wants to exchange business cards so you can reach out to one another. Try to schedule a time where you can have a more formal conversation or meeting to continue your discussions. Try to follow up within 24 hours to leave a lasting impression.
- If you and the other person are actually riding an elevator and get out on the same floor, see if they want to continue the conversations.
- Watch the other person’s body language to see if they’re interested. Pay attention to how the other person acts during your pitch. If they’re maintaining eye contact and are open, they may be intrigued by what you’re saying. If they seem distracted, have their arms crossed, or are ignoring you, wrap up your pitch and thank them for your time.
- Always be kind even if they don’t seem interested rather than getting discouraged.
- Try asking a follow-up question to your pitch to see if they answer. The worst thing they can do is say no.
- Even if people do not respond how you want to your elevator pitch, thank them for listening. Keep pitching to others since everyone responds differently.