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The Elevator Speech, or “Pitch”

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1 The Elevator Speech, or “Pitch”

2 The Elevator Speech Is a tool used by job-seekers and for organizations and individuals with products and services to sell. Gives your audience the “who, what, and why” in about a minute – the length of time it takes to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator. You only have a few words to make a good impression.

3 Sound Bites Short, second Elevator Speeches are referred to as “Sound Bites”. You would use your Sound Bite in situations where you are meeting a lot of people and probably not spending a great deal of time with any one of them. The trick is to make your Sound Bite so intriguing that people will want to spend more time talking with you.

4 The “Elevator Speech” is an effective tool that can be used in any number of situations:
events designed specifically for networking casual networking opportunities we encounter nearly every day – the kids’ soccer games, plane flights, waiting in line to buy tickets, etc. career or job fairs cold calls to employers – e.g. the information interview Job interviews, where the Elevator Speech can provide the answer to at least two common interview questions: “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should I hire you?” (We will use at the beginning of the portfolio interview + you will include on pg. 4 of the job application form)

5 Example Watch the short clip below as an example of how to answer the question, “Tell us something about yourself”, which is another form of the elevator speech: OptimalTv (hint: your need earphones to listen)

6 You need to know yourself
What are your key strengths? What adjectives describe you? What do you want others to know about you? Why are you interested in this job with this company/ organization?

7 Outline your elevator speech using these questions:
Who am I? What do I offer? What problem can I solve? What are the main contributions I can make? What should the listener do as a result of hearing this? Think of it as your tv. commercial – the audience either likes it or not in first few seconds Use the opportunity to leave a business card

8 Things to Remember… Know your audience. Employ a “You Attitude”.
Stress your benefit to the listener and touch on how you’re better than your competition.

9 The Elevator Speech This principle encompasses many names: “unique selling proposition”, “value proposition”, benefit statement, competitive advantage, deliverables, differentiation, personal branding The bottom line is the same: what can you bring to the employer, and how can you do it better than anyone else?

10 Know Yourself Be sure to include: key strengths
adjectives that describe you a description of what you are trying to let others know about you a statement of your interest in the company or industry the person (audience) represents

11 Try to answer: The listener’s unspoken question is: “Why should I hire you?”

12 Sound Bites At its most basic level, the Sound Bite’s structure is:
Hi, my name is __________. I’m in the _________ field, and I’m looking to _______. The last blank would be filled in with your current career aspiration, whether it is to stay within your field and move up or move into a different career. Think: what do you want this listener to most remember about you?

13 A college student or new graduate might add the following to the basic structure:
Hi, my name is _________. I will be graduating/I just graduated from _________ with a diploma in ___________. I’m looking for a position in _______My skills and accomplishments include ________.I’ve researched your company and learned _________. So I know I could make a contribution. I would very much like an interview/meeting/referral.

14 Delivery Is as important as the words
Maintain eye contact and confident body language – show them you care Let audience hear commitment and confidence in voice and words Smile!!

15 Delivery “If you want me to speak for 3 minutes, it will take me 3 weeks of preparation. If you want me to speak for 30 minutes, it will take me a week to prepare. If you want me to speak for an hour, I am ready now.” ~ Winston Churchill

16 Delivery Take some time to write your pitch Practice – out loud!
You want to deliver it the way you speak, not like a speech, rehearsed and stilted Try this to find your voice: To practice, imagine telling a 3 minute “adventure story” about yourself – needs to be engaging and captivating

17 Now you try! Who am I? (introduce yourself)
I am graduating with a diploma in ______ in May, 20 __ What do I know about your organization? (=research, compliments) What makes me different from my competition? (Develop a statement of the primary differentiation of yourself. The differentiation is the single most important thing that sets you apart from the competition.)

18 Now you try! My skills/ accomplishments and interests in this field are ____ What benefits can employers derive from my skills based on my proven accomplishments? What would I like the audience to do after my “pitch”? (interview, meeting, referral?)

19 Examples of statements
I excel at ____ I can bring ___ My previous employers have said ____ My professors have said _____ In my last job I _____

20 Sample elevator speech
Hi, my name is Samantha Atcheson, and I’m a graduating student in Ecosystems Management. I’m looking for a position that will allow me to use my research and analysis skills. Over the past few years, I’ve been strengthening these skills through my work with a local watershed council on conservation strategies to support water quality and habitats. Eventually, I’d like to develop education programs on water conservation awareness. I read that your organization is involved in water quality projects. Can you tell me how someone with my experience could fit into your organization?

21 Sample elevator speech
I ‘m Chelsea Morgan, and my career goal is to help create affordable, renewable energy, because I believe our environment is on a critical path. My environmental technology diploma from Fleming College and internship with Progress Energy has prepared me for the tough challenges in the field. I know your company is environmentally conscious and progressive, and I’m excited to be on the forefront of change. I’d really appreciate the opportunity of discussing your needs and how I can help.

22 References Hansen, Katharine. Fantastic Formulas for Composing Elevator Speeches. Retrieved February, 2, 2009, from: Hansen, Katharine. The Elevator Speech is the Swiss Army Knife of Job-Search Tools. Retrieved February 2, 2009, from:

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