Imagine you’re traveling in the metro and you find the CEO of a company you’ve always wanted to work for sitting next to you. You desperately want to grab this opportunity and introduce yourself.

But then you realize that he’s getting ready to get off at the next station. You have 30 seconds before he walks away but it is too short a time for you. You fumble for words and end up just waving at him. Does this sound familiar?

This scenario is one of many in which an elevator pitch would come in handy. Whether it’s bumping into an old acquaintance at an event or sitting for an interview, there are many situations, planned and unplanned, when you need to make the right first impression. An elevator pitch helps you do just that.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch or an elevator speech is a quick summary of your educational background and your work experience. It’s called an elevator pitch because it is as short as a 30-second elevator ride.

Your elevator pitch could vary from situation to situation. For instance, an elevator speech to land a job differs from the one to win a business deal. You need to customize it to meet your objective. The right elevator speech mentions your biggest accomplishments and reveals how you add value to the person or their organization.

How do you structure an elevator speech?

An analysis of some good elevator pitch samples shows that they include the three Ws: Why are you speaking? Who is listening? What are you talking about?

This elevator pitch template touches upon your purpose and objective, the audience, and your message. Within these three sections, several points make for a good sample elevator pitch. These points include talking about your expertise, establishing a good fit, and showcasing knowledge. An ideal elevator pitch template avoids jargon and is simple, direct, and memorable.

The most important part of the sample elevator pitch is the window that leads to a future conversation, where you can take things forward. A good tip is keeping your visiting card handy.

Here is one of the many elevator speech examples that work. “Hi, my name is Sara. I’m a designer specializing in websites and apps. I have over four years of experience and a degree from NID. I find the work your design team does inspiring and fresh. I’d love to join your team. Could I set up a call at your convenience to discuss this further?”

Tips to craft the perfect elevator pitch:

We give you five tips to help you sharpen your elevator pitch:

1. Take your time

Don’t rush through your delivery to fit more words in. Give your recipient enough time to understand and register what you’re saying. Keep it short and memorable enough for them to remember you.

2. Express confidence

The best elevator pitch can fall flat if it’s not delivered with confidence. Make eye contact, sound enthusiastic, and have a smile. Rehearse your speech well in advance so you don’t hesitate or fumble.

3. Improvise

Leave room to improve and customize your speech. If you feel your audience isn’t open to hearing you or is rushed for time, switch. You can either set up a later conversation or reduce your “ask”. Treat your audience with empathy and don’t come on too strong.

4. Keep it simple

Using acronyms, technical terms or industry-specific words can confuse the listener. It can also alienate them. Keep the language simple and your tone conversational. Your speech should appeal to a variety of listeners from different backgrounds.

5. Don’t skip the pleasantries

Always be polite and courteous. Before pitching, introduce yourself and shake their hand, if possible. Add a greeting like, “It’s so nice to meet you!” and smile at them. Put them at ease, and they’ll listen to you with greater interest.

It’s always good to keep several elevator pitch samples ready so that you can deliver them confidently when the time comes. There is no single elevator pitch that fits all situations. A savvy professional chooses the version based on his objective.

Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course has an entire section devoted to the elevator pitch. It teaches you how to grab every opportunity and how to tackle unforeseen situations. Apart from this, the course also has sections on Aristotle’s Appeals and the Harappa Idea Funnel. Sign up now so that the next time you bump into someone you want to impress, you’ll know exactly what to say.

Explore skills and topics such as speaking skills, oratory skills, and Ethos, Pathos & Logos in our Harappa Diaries section to learn how to communicate effectively.

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