"Who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve"
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Also called an elevator speech, an elevator pitch is a brief and concise speech that tells about who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve. It is named as such since it should be short and compelling enough that you can introduce yourself during an elevator ride. The elevator pitch is a way to share your credentials and expertise quickly with individuals who don’t know anything about you.
When to Use Your Elevator Pitch
You can use your elevator pitch when looking for a job, particularly during job interviews. It’s common for an interviewer to ask you to tell them something about yourself. You can use your elevator speech as an introduction of who you are and what you do. If you’re an owner of a start-up or a small business, you can use your elevator pitch to introduce your venture at an expo or any event involving entrepreneurs. You can also use your speech in your LinkedIn profile to make it easier for your network to know who you are and what you do for a living.
The challenging part of crafting an elevator pitch is putting all the important elements together without talking about yourself longer than you should or monopolizing the conversation. Here are some guidelines to help you create your pitch:
1. Know what you want to achieve
As with anything else, it is essential to identify and set your goal. For instance, are you looking for a job and want to introduce yourself to hiring managers? Do you have a great business idea that you want to share with an executive or decision-maker in an organization? Did you start a business and want to introduce it to potential clients or customers?
2. Say something about what you do.
If you’re part of an organization, describe what it does and its products or services. If you’re applying for a job, your elevator pitch should explain your expertise and skill set.
3. Know your unique selling proposition.
There are so many start-ups and job applicants competing for attention. You need something that will enable you to stand out and be memorable. What’s unique about your idea? What can you contribute to the company? What problems can your organization solve? Make answering those kinds of question the focus of your elevator pitch.
4. Put it all together.
Once you have all the elements of your elevator pitch, put it all together and ensure that it’s short, straightforward, and compelling. Since it’s an elevator pitch, it should not be much longer than 30 seconds. The key is to get the other person’s attention before he or she gets out of the elevator.
5. Practice delivering your pitch.
Read it aloud, in front of a mirror or your friends. Bear in mind that no matter how great your elevator pitch is, it will be useless if you cannot deliver it well. It should sound like you’re having a smooth conversation with someone – not making a hard sell approach. If you fail to practice, you can easily end up talking too fast or forgetting some details. Or you may sound unnatural (like you’re reading from a script).
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to creating your elevator pitch. CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:
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