Pitch Perfect: Preparing and Presenting An Effective Elevator Pitch
Your elevator pitch is a short introduction that you can use time and time again to tell others about yourself in a quick and concise way. This is an important asset for any professional woman. It’s an effective way to tell a potential employer or client who you are and how you can contribute.
With in-person interactions currently limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is more important than ever to have your own pitch that can quickly capture somebody’s attention in a virtual setting.
Try these suggestions to help you prepare and present your perfect pitch, whether it will be delivered virtually or in-person.
Preparing Your Elevator Pitch
Spend time preparing your elevator pitch and tweaking it when you add skills, achieve goals, or have new value to add. Having a pitch prepared will go a long way in helping you sound confident when you share it.
- Write it down. In most cases, your pitch will be delivered out loud, but writing it down can help to ensure that you capture the essential points. You will also be able to tell whether it flows properly.
- Aim for 20 seconds. Your pitch should fit into the time it takes for an average elevator ride. Keep it concise and to the point—likely under 200 words.
- Clarify your goals. Your pitch should identify what you want to accomplish and can be customized for your audience. If you’re targeting a specific position or company, you can incorporate appropriate language to help address that.
- Quantify your achievements. Your pitch should effectively report on what you have accomplished. Adding in statistics (revenue goals accomplished, number of books published, etc.) allows you to showcase yourself.
- Focus on your audience. What do your listeners need? How can you deliver value to them? Include references that illustrate how you can specifically provide a benefit to them and always be prepared to share more detail if they have any questions.
Presenting Your Elevator Pitch
Once your pitch is prepared, the next step is actually pitching it to others. You will be able to use this pitch in so many situations, and having a concise, well-prepared pitch will showcase your confidence and talents.
- Adapt your pitch for your audience. You may want to tailor the language you use according to the person you are speaking with. If you’re speaking with somebody from within your industry, you may want to include relevant information they would understand. Your goal is to help others understand why you are the best; if you overwhelm them with information, this will not make a good impression.
- Practice. Your pitch should sound natural and flow with ease when you are speaking out loud. Practice in a mirror or record yourself talking.
- Gather feedback. Ask friends, family, and other professionals for feedback on your pitch. They will be able to let you know whether your speed is okay and whether you’re using words or industry jargon that is unfamiliar. During a recent networking event with IAW Washington DC, Career and Business Coach Nella Castro asked attendees to share their elevator pitch with the group. It was a helpful exercise and those that participated were able to gather valuable feedback.
- Watch others. Pay close attention to the way in which others introduce themselves. Listen to the words that ‘pop’ and watch for how other people react. This can help you to refine your pitch.
- Exude confidence. Your pitch should be delivered with confidence. When appropriate, offer a firm handshake with your introduction, maintain eye contact, maintain a warm and friendly expression.
- Follow up. The goal here is to establish conversation that will lead to long-lasting professional relationships. Your pitch is just step number one. After the introduction, send a connection request via LinkedIn or suggest getting together to continue your conversation.
A perfect pitch will spark curiosity and make people want to learn more about you. Be prepared with an introduction that will open the door to continued conversation!
Click here for elevator pitch examples.