Elevator pitches can help you rise up by focusing you on what you need, who you need to connect with, and how to get to the next floor in your career. Here are tips for how to create your elevator pitch.
Elevator pitches aren’t just for elevators. The term “elevator pitch” has become shorthand for this type of concise summary, and it’s worth revisiting at any point in your career. That’s because the idea of creating a concise 30-to-90 second introduction of yourself, your needs and your goals helps focus you on what’s really important for your work. In fact, a well-crafted elevator pitch can still be useful without ever being delivered in person. Here are steps to take to create an elevator pitch for yourself.
Define your target audience
The premise of an elevator pitch is being ready when you happen to get in an elevator with the right person at the right time. What that means is that you’re not just talking to any random person who happens to be traveling to the same floor. Consider who you’d approach in this proverbial elevator. Is it someone who can get you a new job? A promotion? Help with a project at work? Is it someone who works in a particular industry? Picturing yourself in an elevator with the right person for an elevator pitch will help define who you need to connect with at this stage in your career.
Make a story outline
Now that you have a captive audience in this elevator, how will you engage them so you don’t simply stare awkwardly at the numbers going up or down? Try telling a story. If you inspect the plot of any movie, you’ll see familiar stages. There’s essentially the problem, the struggle, the solution, and the resolution. You can approach any pitch in the same way. Place yourself in the middle of the script and define what problem you want to tackle, how you can help, what’s your solution, and what will happen after the resolution takes place. Write this out to create a movie in your own head.
Take the plunge
If this elevator ride ever does take place, you’re going to need practice so you don’t freeze in the moment or trip all over your words. Hone your pitch by getting in an actual elevator and delivering your dialogue (just make sure it’s empty first). If the right person gets in, you’re ready to seize the opportunity. Your elevator pitch can prove to be useful in other ways, too. Getting directly to the point about what you can offer will be appreciated by any busy person. And by rehearsing a pitch in your own mind, you’ll set your sights on going up in your career.