Your Personal Elevator Pitch
Elevator speeches aren’t just for job seekers. Everyone needs an elevator speech. But not just any elevator speech will do,
because when it comes to elevator speeches they either succeed or they
What is an elevator speech?
Here is a quick review. It’s a
brief statement designed to sell you or your cause. Why do we call it an
“elevator speech?” Imagine that you get on an elevator and suddenly realize you
are face to face with a key person you wish to influence or persuade. You have their undivided attention only for
the time the elevator is between floors. Once the doors re-open your opportunity
In the sales world this would be called a “pitch.” It is also sometimes referred to as an
“initial benefit statement” or “IBS.” It
doesn’t matter what you call it, the concept is the same. Get their attention and then say what you
need to say quickly and concisely. I’m
not kidding when I say your message needs to be quick and concise. The ideal speech should be 2 to 3 sentences and no longer than 30 seconds. Most elevator speeches are too long. I’m talking about the length of an elevator
ride in an average office building not a skyscraper!
To help you compose your elevator speech you should follow
this format and strive for one sentence to state each point.
- Who are
you? Introduce yourself and your
credentials up front. There's no point in saying
anything if the listener has no idea who you are or if you have any
- Why are
you there? Don’t dance around the
issue, just say it! Being direct not only grabs attention but helps the
listener to put your pitch into context.
Note: If you are pitching an idea or a cause then you may want to frame
this more as a problem statement. For
example: “Everyday hundreds of patients
are denied care because current law is preventing NPs/PAs from practicing at
the top of their scope.” Got your
attention didn’t I?
- What can
you do for the listener? This is
where you explain how hiring you will meet their need. Your goals and dreams are nice but remember
in the end what you are offering must benefit the listener! If you have stated a problem then this is
where you offer your solution. “Senate Bill #123 will remove these barriers so all Americans will have access to
People (especially influential people) are
busy, so if you are demanding their time and attention, you owe it to them to
get to the point and get there fast.
Comments? Questions? Email