How to Create a Great Elevator Pitch

Most of us already have a general idea of an elevator pitch and have been on the receiving end of one at some point in our lives. In this article, we’ll explain why you need an elevator pitch and how to create a powerful and memorable one.

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Most of us already have a general idea of an elevator pitch and have been on the receiving end of one at some point in our lives. If you’ve ever been in an electronics store and had a salesperson run down the specs of a new cell phone and all the reasons you need it in your life, then you’ve had an elevator pitch presented to you. However, elevator pitches are useful for salespeople and business owners and are also helpful in many ways for students and graduates. In this article, we’ll explain why you need an elevator pitch and how to create a powerful and memorable one.
What is an Elevator Pitch and Why You Need One

An elevator pitch includes a brief synopsis of your background and experience and is used to spark interest in a project, idea, or even just yourself. An elevator pitch is usually between 30 and 60 seconds long – short enough to present during an elevator ride. A good elevator pitch should be short, compelling, and memorable. And if executed well, it is a quick but effective way to share your strengths and ideas with new connections, making it highly advantageous to have one prepared any time you expect to introduce yourself in a professional setting. Elevator pitches will come in handy throughout your career, so it pays to start practising them as a student or fresh graduate. 
When to Use an Elevator Pitch

There are several situations where an elevator pitch can be helpful, some of which include:

Job Interviews
An elevator pitch is an effective way to start a job interview and, in many cases, is a great way to prepare for an answer to that misleadingly simple first question, “Tell me about yourself”. 

Networking
An elevator pitch is a great way to introduce yourself at networking events, careers expos, or even on an impromptu basis. If you’re approaching a company and hoping to have them remember you for future opportunities, presenting an elevator pitch is a great way to become professional and memorable. You can also present an elevator pitch to individuals you are seeking mentorship from, would like to stay in touch with, or anyone new that you might meet. It pays to be memorable as you never know who might have an opportunity for you. 

Presentations
Elevator pitches are also a compelling way to present ideas, projects, or initiatives. If you ever find yourself needing to convince others of the value of a particular idea or project, an elevator pitch is a great way to lead into your presentation. If you’re short on time, an elevator pitch may suffice on its own, but they are also helpful for longer presentations as an attention-grabbing introduction. 
How to Structure an Elevator Pitch

The precise structure of your elevator pitch will depend on its purpose and the situation it will be used for. But generally speaking, an organised elevator pitch will have these components: 

1. Introduction
Start your pitch by introducing yourself with your name and a pleasantry – it’s just common courtesy! Doing this will give your elevator pitch a friendly and personal tone, encouraging your audience to listen to what you have to say next. 

2. What You DoSummarise your background, including your education and past work experience, and talk about some of your recent work. Sell your strengths and start setting yourself up as someone who can offer something unique. Mention your awards or recognition, successful results from past work, or a successful and unique approach you might take to your work. 

3. What You Want
Once you’ve hooked your audience with your assets, mention the outcome you would like from your interaction with them. For example, in an interview, you may want consideration for a student internship or graduate role. If networking, you may wish to their mentorship, set up another meeting, or even just their contact details. If you’re pitching an idea, you may want the audience’s opinion or support. 
4. What You Can Bring
You’ve dropped your strengths and your desired outcome – the next step is to link those together. Once you’ve explained what you hope to gain from the interaction, explain to the audience what they gain from the interaction too. Explain your specific strengths and how you can fulfil their requirements.

5. Call to Action
If it works with the situation, end the elevator pitch with a call to action by asking or stating what you would like to happen next. In a networking situation, you might ask the audience for their contact details or set up a meeting. For a presentation, ask the audience for their thoughts or tell them how they can show their support for your idea. It can be a little trickier for an interview, but you can emphasise your interest in the role or ask the interviewers if you can provide any other information. The main thing is to give the audience a way to react to your elevator pitch, encouraging them to reflect on it. 
Tips for your Elevator Pitch

Identify a Purpose
There are several reasons and situations where you might use an elevator pitch. It is essential to identify the purpose of yours and stick to it from the get-go. Because you don’t have much time to give your elevator pitch, it’s essential to recognise precisely what your angle is about and what you want from it so that everything you say will be relevant. 

Prepare in Advance
An elevator pitch is a spoken presentation, but drafting it ahead of time will ensure you get all your points across and give you a chance to practise them until you’re confident. Re-read your pitch to check that they flow well from each other, and edit your sentences so that they are short and precise. 

Keep it Conversational
Prepare well for your elevator pitch, but try to keep it conversational when it comes to presenting. You want your pitch to seem genuine and as if it responds specifically to the needs of whom you’re presenting to. To deliver an elevator pitch that’s well-prepared and conversational, plan and memorise your overall points and structure, but adapt the elevator pitch depending on the situation and audience. For example, you can prepare a general pitch to take to a career’s expo and take the time to research each of the companies you’re interested in. When you approach them, adjust your elevator pitch to make it relevant to them. 
A good elevator pitch is a must-have for any situation where you’re introducing yourself or your ideas in a professional capacity at all stages of your career. As a job-hunting student or graduate, having an elevator pitch prepared for networking and interviews can be incredibly beneficial. Though elevator pitches are short, they should not be under-estimated as a great way to communicate your strengths and intentions effectively and articulately. 
-  Wendy Xu, Nxtstep Content Writer

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