How to Create an Elevator Pitch or Elevator Speech (5+ Examples) [2020]

elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a simple way to describe who you are, what you do, and what you can provide to another person. These short pitches last anywhere from 30 seconds to 90 seconds (the length of a typical elevator ride; hence the name) and provide another person with an overview of your professional history in a short period of time. They are a form of an introduction and are designed to intrigue your audience or listener. The best elevator pitch is one that leaves your listener with a strong first impression and questions to ask you based on them being engaged or intrigued.

An elevator pitch can be used in a variety of business situations. From a networking event to the first meeting with a client, to speaking with a hiring manager regarding a job and more. When an interviewer asks you, “Tell me about yourself” they are in essence, asking for an effective elevator pitch.

Where to Use an Elevator Pitch

Here are the business situations where you should use an elevator pitch:

Effective Elevator Pitches

Effective elevator pitches provide your listener with the following information:

When you have all three of these components within your pitch, you have the makings of a successful elevator pitch.

How to Say Your Elevator Pitch

Before creating your pitch, it’s important to note what’s required in speaking a winning elevator pitch. Here are some tips to help you.

Don’t speak too fast: Don’t worry about the timing of your pitch. Worry about the word count. If you speak too quickly, it can sound as though you are lacking confidence in your delivery.

Have confident body language: Don’t fold your arms or stand crooked. Make eye contact and say your pitch.

Make sure your pitch makes sense: Tell your pitch to a few friends and family members and then ask them what they thought. Make sure they understand your background, what you do, and what you can provide from your pitch.

Avoid lengthy elevator pitches: The worst thing you can do is to make a long-winded elevator pitch. The perfect elevator pitch should be short and impactful. Keep it under 60-seconds or you risk losing the listener's attention. Remember, this is an introduction to who you are, not your only chance to have a conversation.

What to Say in Your Elevator Pitches

Here are a few things to consider mentioning when creating your own elevator pitch.

Your successes: It’s always easier to talk about goals or have an ask for the listener when they have a reason to listen. Mention successes that you’ve had in your career or with a particular job as a way of leading to your ask. For example, as a small business owner pitching a potential investor, mention your business's performance.

Leave out the details: If you spent four years in college, you can simply say you are a recent graduate. You don’t need to go into detail about your education history if it’s not important.

Know your listener: The first half of your pitch should be something you repeat with frequency and should describe who you are and why you’re talking. The second part of your pitch should be tailored and targeted to the person you’re speaking with. For example, as a marketing professional speaking to a potential customer about SEO, you should mention your recent SEO examples or a reference to recent changes in algorithms.

Describe who you are through experiences: It’s not important to say what your name is and where you grew up. Focus on what you’ve accomplished and let that speak to who you are or what you can provide. Even when reciting a personal elevator pitch, it should focus on personal accomplishments for the setting rather than your personal life story.

Have an ask: An ask can be simply presenting yourself or looking for career advice. Something that tells the listener what it is that they can do to help you. Asks don’t need to come in the form of a question, either. Simply present what you need or want from the listener.

Elevator Pitch Examples (Or Elevator Speech Examples)

Below is an elevator pitch example for either a job title or a business scenario.

College Students

I’m a recent graduate from Stanford University, graduating with a 3.8GPA Magna Cum Laude. During my tenure, I worked on a number of social media marketing experiments, one gaining roughly 1M followers by using advanced AI and machine learning. I’m really interested in learning about software development roles within the company.

Virtual Assistant

I’m a virtual assistant with more than 8 years of experience. I’ve worked with all types of CEOs, marketers, and Vice Presidents. I’ve been able to reduce the administrative workload of my customers by more than 30% on average. And I have a long track record of driving results with my executive members. I’m curious about assistant roles within ABC Company.

Marketing

I’m a senior-level marketing executive with 8 years of experience. I’m familiar with PPC, SEO, Influencer Marketing, and attribution. On average I’ve been able to reduce customer acquisition cost with all of my clients by roughly 45% and increase overall organic traffic and engagement through long-term vision.

Tip: If you are truly stuck when it comes to creating your own elevator pitch, you may want to seek the advice of a career coach. A career coach can help to determine the best path for your professional pitch and help you practice your delivery methods.

Engineering

I have 10+ years of experience in previous engineering fields. Over the span of my career, I’ve been able to release around 5,000 versions of software. Each fully tested and have had very little server downtime for all of my releases. I’ve also been able to reduce the time to deploy by 50% at nearly every job I’ve had.

Investor Pitch

I've been an entrepreneur my whole life, with more than 5 businesses reaching $20M annual revenues. I've sold 3 of them in the finance space and am looking to start my next one in healthcare. I'm looking to secure about $1M in seed funding and would love to present my pitch deck outlining my latest venture.

Elevator Pitch Template

In order to turn a good elevator pitch into a great elevator pitch, you should follow this template:

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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