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GHC14 Tips on crafting your Elevator Speech

The only people who don’t need elevator pitches are elevator salesmen. I once tried to sell an elevator to a man who owned a one-story building. He didn’t buy from me, but he did sell me on the benefits of leaving his lobby without any bullet holes in my body.

— Jarod Kintz

Crafting your elevator speech can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips I can offer to help you begin crafting your elevator speech.

  1. Be clear on what type of role you are looking for 
    • It is quite difficult having some idea what you’d like to do straight out of college, or even if you are in college. If you don’t know what you are looking for, perhaps jot down some areas of technology that excite and inspire you. 
  2. Write everything down 
    • Remember, your elevator speech is ~30 seconds long. I make a list of all of my accomplishments, past internships/ experiences, and skills that are relevant to the position I seek. Then I cross out everything that isn’t critical to my pitch leaving key bullet points. 
  3. Format it 
    • It should answer 3 questions. Who are you? What do you do and What are you looking for. 
  4. Tailor tailor tailor 
    • I make sure to tailor my elevator speech to a company, not to myself. Be sure to focus on their needs and how you can help them achieve their needs. 
  5. Eliminate jargon
    • I tend to use technical terms sparingly. The last thing you’d want to do is make your listener feel uninformed.  
  6. Practice, practice, practice
    • Practice out loud. In the mirror, to your cat, to your mom or to your professor. Make sure you don’t sound like an informercial and make sure their idea of your objective is your objective. Ask for honest feedback and incorporate it as you make adjustments. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be with it. It is worthwhile to craft different variations of your elevator speech.
  7. Nail it. 
    • Maintain good eye contact and a confident voice as you deliver your elevator speech.