4 Tips to the Perfect Elevator Speech

Have you heard of an elevator pitch? The idea became popular several years ago with a thought experiment that put you in an elevator with Oprah. If you only had 30 seconds to convey to her who you were, what would you say? You can apply an elevator speech to all aspects of your professional life, especially when it comes to networking or meeting influential people in the community. Here are 4 tips to creating the perfect elevator speech.

1. Get their attention.

The purpose of your 30-second elevator pitch is to get their attention in the first couple of sentences. If there is too much introduction, you’ll lose your audience. Be bold, be open, and be interesting. Start with what you do, your greatest strength, and your goal. For example, “I have over 15 years’ worth of experience in accounting, specifically with small businesses. If your company is looking for help with your numbers, I’m available to consult.”

2. Make it memorable.

You want to tell the other person something that will make them remember you. You don’t have to juggle or to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but give them a small snippet of information that will make you memorable to them. It can be specifically work related or one or two words that describe what makes you different.

3. Solve a problem.

The idea behind an elevator pitch is to attract attention and convince someone to continue a conversation with you. They are likely only going to do that if they have a problem they need to solve and feel as though you are the solution for it. Use your goal as the guide to determining how to position yourself as a problem solver. If you’re looking for IT positions, briefly include how your skills can benefit a company.

4. Ask a question.

Finally, some people like to use the question tactic as a way to end their elevator pitch. Why? Because it encourages the other person to want to continue the conversation. One of the best closing statements would simply be, “Can I get your card?” or “Can I give you my contact information?” Or, if you’re looking for something more specific, close with a question that leaves them wanting to know more about what you do.

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