An elevator pitch is an executive summary (ideally 60 seconds or fewer) that you can use to attract interest in what you do. It is one of the most effective ways to promote your personal brand and one of the simplest yet most powerful tools for any professional. Follow these simple steps to build your own interesting, memorable and succinct pitch that clearly explains what makes you, your product or idea unique, and how you can add value through what you do.
When to use an elevator pitch
Whether you are trying to build your network or sell yourself in an interview you need a strong elevator pitch which allows you to succinctly get across who you are, what you do and where you can add value. If attending a networking event, mingling with friends or just speaking to somebody you know who could support you in securing your next career goal you may get the questions ‘Tell me about yourself’ ‘What do you do?’ or ‘What is your company about?’ If you are looking for a job or building your business and have not pre-empted this question you could be left giving an unclear description of what you do and where you can add value and essentially miss an employment or business opportunity.
A good elevator pitch will include:
Who you are
You need to start by capturing the listener’s attention so they are eager to learn more. It is important to remember the people listening to your pitch will be focused on understanding ‘What’s in it for me?’ It is crucial that you provide context to make the pitch relevant to them before talking about you and tailor your message to their needs.
‘I am an experienced career coach with a comprehensive understanding of the modern job market’
What you do
Make sure you can describe what you do without relying on your job title. The person you are delivering your pitch to may not be an expert in your field. For example, saying ‘I’m a lawyer’ becomes much stronger and clearer when you include the type of law you specialise in, and perhaps an example of the cases you have worked on.
When you are using your pitch to promote a new business venture, start your pitch by describing the problems you solve and how you help people. If you can, quantify this demonstrating the value in what you do.
‘I have a proven ability to facilitate a successful career transition for individuals at all levels through supporting them in all aspects of their job search. For example this can include a full CV review giving specific advice around tailoring the CV in line with the opportunity and also giving advice on the most suitable style of CV to use’
Your pitch should convey enthusiasm; if you don’t portray interest in what you are saying you it can be hard to engage and influence your audience.
Why you are unique
What are your USPs (unique selling points)? Identify what makes you, your idea or your organisation unique. Focus on the qualities only you have that can benefit the listener. The intention is to stand out from the competition whether it be other candidates or business competitors.
‘I have extensive experience of actively hiring good quality candidates within both a corporate environment and also for a leading high street recruitment agency. I apply this knowledge and experience to provide specialist, focused, practical outplacement and career transition advice and guidance to enable participants to achieve their desired goals.’
Your goals and ambitions
Be clear about what you want and align it to what the listener is looking for. When you have communicated your USPs you need to engage your audience through asking open ended questions to involve them in the conversation
‘What areas of your CV do you currently tailor when applying for a role?’
‘Where are you finding most success from your job search? What approaches have you tried so far? Talk me through your job search strategy’
Like anything else, practice makes perfect. How you present your pitch is just as important as what you say. If you don’t practice it is likely your pitch may sound unnatural or you could miss some key information out. Remember that to be pitch perfect, it will need to be tailored in line with the opportunity, so always consider your audience and what elements are most relevant.
Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you be pitch perfect please call 0800 612 2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org