If you are in the job searching phase your career, you might have heard of an elevator pitch. That this is something that you should have to impress potential employers, sponsors, and so forth. If you’ve been wondering what it is, why it is important and how to write (a good and captivating) one, then this article is for you.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a short description of an idea, product, company, or in this case of yourself, such that anybody can understand it in a short period of time. It is used to entice a potential employer, investor or sponsor. It is meant to present the aspects of a person in an exciting way. But you may be wondering why it is called an “elevator pitch”? Although it is not restricted to a pitch given in an elevator, the name refers to the time spent delivering the pitch. It should typically last the time of a typical elevator ride. However, as a rule of thumb, an elevator pitch can last anywhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, depending on the setup.
Why is an Elevator Pitch Important?
With everything in this world moving faster, nobody has time to sit through and listen to a whole presentation about a certain concept. That’s where an elevator pitch comes in. It allows you to communicate the important points in a short amount of time. Since you are selling yourself, the first impression is very important. Also, when the interviewee starts an interview by asking you tell them about yourself, this is one of the places where you would use your elevator pitch.
Elements of A Good Elevator Pitch
Although an elevator pitch is short, it should summarise all of the important aspects that you want to convey to the listener. Therefore make sure that it has all of the important aspects. It should aim to answer the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do and how?
- Results from your work that make you outstanding/different.
- What do you want?
- How you will be a good fit for the company?
In addition to this, your elevator pitch should have a good conversation-starter. It would be a bit awkward to just jump right into it, don’t you think? Also, record yourself to make sure that you sound and look good as you are presenting your pitch and make adjustments where necessary.
“Hi, I am Bakhekile Ndlovu, an electrical engineer working on protection and automation systems in the national grid. I am currently working for the Digital Grid department of Siemens and have successfully executed projects involving switchgear upgrades and the installation of new switchgear by implementing cost-effective designs that met my client’s requirements.I am hoping to join your team and expand my knowledge are to protection and automation systems of renewable energy systems. My experience, dedication to contributing to this field of work and excellence in team work make me a good addition to your team.”
So in this example I have clearly stated who I am, what I do and how (projects I have executed), what sets me apart (I ensure cost-effective designs are implemented), what do I want (the job that will allow me to work on renewable energy systems) and how I am a good fit for the company (my experience, dedication and the fact that I am a team player).
It is quick, straight to the point and highlights the important aspects that I want the interviewee to know.
Presenting A Memorable Pitch
It is important that your elevator pitch is both captivating and memorable, so that even after listening to 20 others, they remember yours. Practice your pitch but not so that you end up sounding robotic. So don’t memorise it. Try to sound natural. Relax, you are talking about yourself and what you do, and no one can do that better than you. So relax and make your make give a great representation of yourself. Although you have prepared a short elevator pitch with key points, be prepared to answer more questions if required.
Take Home Points
Your elevator pitch is important because you create a first impression that you need to be memorable. Keep it short but include all of the important aspects that you want the listener to know. We have outlined the formula to a captivating elevator pitch and given an example. Lastly, make sure that you deliver this pitch in a convincing way, because it is not only about what you are saying but also how you say it.
Do you have your pitch ready? What else do you include in your pitch? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.