Interviewing

How to Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

August 25, 2020

How you introduce yourself matters everywhere you go, though the stakes are a bit higher in a professional setting. In general, your introduction will determine how your audience will judge you, so it's important to make it as effective and impressive as possible. To do this, you will need to have an elevator pitch ready that explains who you are and what you do in order to impress the people you meet.

In this article, we explain what an elevator pitch is, why they are important and how to craft one with examples to use as a guide.

What is an elevator pitch?

In simple and clear language, an elevator pitch is a short and quick summary of yourself. You typically use an elevator pitch to introduce yourself as an opportunity to seek your prospect's attention and time. It is usually a friendly and engaging form of conversation. Whether you are at a networking event, a career fair or a conference, you can always make an elevator pitch work. You might use this tool to pitch a product or sell yourself as a professional.

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Importance of an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is useful in many different situations, so it is a valuable tool. It is a good idea to keep a few different talking points about yourself prepared in case you need to give an elevator pitch unexpectedly. Here are a few reasons why an elevator pitch is important:

  • It acts as an ice breaker to the conversation in an interview setting. It also provides a framework as you prepare to tell the interviewers about yourself.
  • It helps you take the lead in a conversation when you are selling a product. You do this by showing your assertiveness in displaying what you have to offer.
  • With a nice elevator pitch, you get to connect and interact with new people you meet who are like you, such as individuals you meet at a convention, conference or networking event.
  • If you present yourself well with an elevator pitch, you can convince people to contact you once an opportunity comes around.

How to create an elevator pitch

Follow these steps to come up with an effective elevator pitch:

  1. Mention who you are
  2. Explain what your company does
  3. Grab their attention
  4. Share your goal
  5. Finish with a call to action

1. Mention who you are

The first part of your elevator pitch should contain details about who you are. Write down a short sentence about yourself. People should know who they are conversing with right away. Describe yourself in a few words, and if you are working at a particular company, state your role and organisation as well.

2. Explain what your company does

If you have mentioned the company you are working for, make sure to talk about it briefly. What does your company do? This should be the first question you address in this part of your elevator pitch. You can do this by stating the products and services it offers. You can also include your company's goals, mission and vision.

3. Grab their attention

It's important to make a good, strong impression on the person you're meeting. One way to do this is by establishing a relationship with them based on a mutual connection, such as a similar interest or experience. For example, if you both went to the same university, this would be a good time to mention it. You could also bring up a story about your company founders or mention a fascinating fact or statistic about yourself. Grabbing the individual's attention is critical for getting them to focus on your pitch. It also helps them remember you after the conversation.

4. Share your goal

When you give an elevator pitch, you likely have a goal that you want to achieve, so you need to make sure to clarify what you want. In most cases, it is known as the 'ask'. The 'ask' could be a job opportunity, internship spot or mentorship. However, it comes with a catch. You need to show how your 'ask' can be mutually beneficial to both parties.

5. Finish with a call to action

Finish your pitch with a call to action, which is where you determine the next steps that need to be taken. A good example would be to ask for a meeting or a phone call to discuss the details of your conversation further.

Tips for delivering an elevator pitch

Now that you have crafted your elevator pitch, it all comes down to your delivery. There are certain things you need to keep in mind before actually giving the pitch. Here are some tips to remember:

  • Be brief: It is crucial to restrict your elevator pitch to about 30 to 60 seconds. Remember, it is not a story about your entire life. It is just a summary of a few key points about your work and career objectives.
  • Speak slowly: In most cases, you will have a limited amount of time to deliver your elevator pitch. Even so, it is important to talk at a slow pace so that your message is clear. It also gives your listeners time to absorb the information.
  • Use simple language: Make sure that you convey your message in the most simplified form. This helps your audience comprehend what you say more easily. Using acronyms or technical jargon that not everyone understands could easily hamper the quality of your pitch.
  • Practise: When you deliver your elevator pitch, you need to be relaxed, comfortable and composed, and you can get to this point by practising your pitch beforehand. Since you don't always know when you'll need to give your pitch, you should practise it regularly until it flows naturally.

Elevator pitch examples

Here are some great elevator pitch examples that you can use as a guide when crafting and delivering your own:

  • An entrepreneur's elevator pitch
  • A graphic designer's elevator pitch
  • An engineer's elevator pitch
  • A student's elevator pitch
  • A photographer's elevator pitch

An entrepreneur's elevator pitch

Hi, my name is John Tang. I work at Sheng Goss International. Our company specialises in developing and designing online sales funnels. This entails making sure that online customers have a seamless user experience. It also involves providing automated solutions to our clients, which go a long way in boosting their sales.

Over the past 12 years, we have helped over 300 companies boost their sales by over 110%. I would like to bring such services to your company to help your sales increase immensely. Can I get in touch with your office to set up a meeting with you next week?

A graphic designer's elevator pitch

Hello, my name is Pam, and I'm a graphic designer working at Leos Group. My company makes logos for a wide range of businesses and organisations.

Did you know that a poorly designed logo can bring immense damage to a company's branding? In my nine years of experience, I have exceptionally handled over 700 contracts. It would be my pleasure to design your company's logo to help you create the perfect image to attract customers and clients. Can I have your contact details so that we can discuss this further?

An engineer's elevator pitch

Hi, my name is Joy Mselengo. I am a structural engineer working at Botrolol Limited. Botrolol is a company that brings together various engineers. We have structural engineers and electrical engineers, among others.

Did you know that a building's stability depends largely on its foundation? For this reason, it is important to employ experts to construct your building in order to avoid issues that may arise from poorly built foundations. I would like to be the head engineer for your new office buildings. If you bring me on board, you will you get a properly constructed building. Can I make an appointment with your office so that we can talk more?

A student's elevator pitch

Hello, I'm Sam, a recent graduate with a degree in English and literature. I am also a freelancer who has worked with numerous local businesses. I have written multiple blog pieces, many of which have helped these companies grow their online presence.

If you are open to the idea, I would like to write a piece for you to help your company boost its online presence. Can I visit your office to book an appointment so that we can talk later on?

A photographer's elevator pitch

Hi, I'm Molly, it's nice to meet you. I am an artist at Shutter Incorporated. Before getting a job there three years ago, I graduated with a degree in photography and design. At Shutter, we are passionate about taking beautiful photos for our clients.

Many top photographers attribute a considerable part of their success to their mentors. I have seen the work you have done with Pixel Studio Productions, and I must admit it is truly amazing. In fact, it has really inspired me to open up my mind when handling clients' photos and requests. I would love to talk about a potential mentorship with you. Can I come to your office next week so that we can discuss it more?