UNB Alumni
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Work your network: The elevator pitch

Author: Young Alumni

Posted on Oct 30, 2015

Category: Insights


You're in an interview or at a networking event and you're asked to “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

Cue the moment of awkward silence. Where do you even begin? Take this question as the perfect opportunity to leave a meaningful first impression with a prepared elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that gives an overview of your experience, skills and goals.  Here are 6 simple steps to prepare your personal pitch and leave a lasting impression:

1. Keep it short and sweet. 

Your pitch should be no longer than 30-60 seconds - around the average length of an elevator ride!

2. Tell them what makes you unique.

Capture your audience right from the get-go. They likely want to know 'What can you do for me?"  To get to this point, introduce yourself and explain why you would be a great asset to their company. What is your educational background? What specific skills or experience do you bring to the table that sets you apart from others?

3. Define your goal. 

Why are you speaking to this person or company? Be clear about your personal or professional goals. Maybe you're looking to build professional connections in your industry. Maybe you want to apply for a job within their company. Whatever your goal may be - big or small - don't be afraid to address it.

4. Leave them wanting more.

Elevator pitches are meant to be short, so try not to explain your entire backstory. Give your audience a few impressive details about you and your expertise, but save some for a later conversation. Be passionate and confident, and you'll leave them wanting to know more about you.

5. Show that you're interested in what they have to offer, too. 

If you find yourself in this situation, you're likely engaging with someone who may become a professional contact or a future employer. Show that you’re interested to learn more about their background by finishing with a question. What do you want to know about the individual or their company?

6. Practice. 

You don't want your pitch to sound too rehearsed or pre-recorded, but practicing out loud will help you get to a place where your pitch feels natural. If you don't like how it sounds, try something new. Keep practicing and eventually you will find the perfect pitch that works for you!