Is Your Elevator Speech Boosting You Up Or Taking You Down?
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
You’re looking for a job…you’ll send out resumés, and go for interviews, so is it really necessary to have an elevator pitch too? Absolutely!
Whether you are in an informal situation (like in an elevator) or at a career fair, your elevator speech can open doors and create interest while providing valuable information about your qualifications.
What is an elevator speech?
If you’re going to err, err on the side of simplicity…assume that you have a very brief time to make an impression, and that you’ll be allocated a tiny amount of memory space in overloaded and preoccupied brains of your audience.” – Steve Woodruff
The perfect elevator speech is a short speech, between 30 seconds to 1 minute, that should explain who you are, what you do, and what value you could bring to an organization.
You should be able to deliver your speech extemporaneously, but it should never sound memorized or rehearsed, and you should avoid speaking too fast, using clichés, or using pretentious or difficult words.
It might be helpful to have a couple different versions of your speech that would fit different types of occasions or meetings. An elevator speech is also a good way to respond to the “Tell me a little about yourself” inquiry in an interview.
Creating an engaging elevator speech:
Initiate a proper handshake and the whole world opens up for you.” – James D. Wilson
- Have a strong introduction – If someone else isn’t introducing you, present yourself with your name, a job title or specialty, and then offer a firm, but not painful, handshake.
- Set yourself apart from the crowd – You are unique, let your listener know what makes you special, especially if it relates to a job opportunity. You might share something you have accomplished professionally, or a contribution you made to a previous organization.
- Engage your listener –
- People are busy, but you can grab their attention by asking about what they do in their job or their company. This is a great way to show that you are truly interested in them and not just delivering details about yourself.
- Follow an outline – Here is an effective outline to use in developing your elevator speech:
- My name is: ______________________________
- I am a(n): (your vocational specialty) ______________________________
- With XX years of experience.
- Most recently I worked for: (your last organization) __________________________-
- Prior to that I worked for: (previous organization) ____________________
- (State) I am presently involved in a job change. (So the listener is aware.)
- In my work I specialize in: (two or three areas you focus on in your work.)
- A couple of examples of what I have done include; (2 or 3 accomplishments, if you can tailor them to the listener so much better)
- What I am looking for is: (brief statement of the type or organization you would like to work for and/or the value you bring to an organization.)
- My name is: ______________________________
- Practice, practice, practice – Certainly you don’t want your speech to sound rehearsed, but you want to know its content well enough that when it’s time to use it you don’t get tongue-tied or forget what you want to say. You can practice with a friend who can offer feedback, or you could video tape yourself…although it may feel awkward, you will be able spot little things you can improve upon.
- Don’t just walk away – When your conversation has ended, be sure to offer them a business card so they can get ahold of you. And let them know how interested you are by offering to set up a future meeting or phone call. Don’t use your previous company business card, but have personal ones printed for yourself that include your name, phone number, email address, LinkedIn address, personal website if you have one (or portfolio page) and job title.
An elevator speech can come in handy in a whole host of settings from chance encounters at a coffee shop, to people you may sit next to on a bus or plan, to conversations at holiday parties, as well as networking events and business gatherings. So, take the time to prepare yours and have it ready to use!
If you would like to explore working with a Christian centered Career Coach, Contact me for a no-obligation 60-90 minute job search consultation with America’s Job Searching Coach, or text me at 425-220-0707 and we can discuss your situation, your résumé, what you would like to achieve, and structure your job search to fit your uniqueness.
I am also available to speak to groups.