This Article was Originally Written by Catherine Conlan, Monster.com
Everyone needs an elevator pitch. When you’re looking for a new job, you can use it to inform employers and recruiters about yourself, or to make a connection at a networking event. When you’re already employed, you can use an elevator pitch to tell influencers or decision-makers about how you can add value to whatever project they’re pursuing. Your elevator pitch should be informative, and you must be able to deliver it flawlessly, at any time, with little warning. You never know when opportunity might knock. Craft a standout pitch and deliver it with verve every time using these tips.
Start with a script. The goal is for the listener to walk away knowing exactly who you are and what you can do. Avoid using complex language or industry jargon when you write your pitch. You want to be able to connect with a wide variety of people and have them understand what you’re talking about.
It is critical to use the right pitch for the right situation. A pitch delivered in a social setting, for example should tell the employer why you are special in a compelling manner. It should not be sales-ish. A sales pitch is different in that you are pitching the sale of your solution to the listener’s problem. Once you have the text of your pitch, practice it. You need to be able to deliver it naturally without rushing or sounding too pushy. Recite it out loud in front of a mirror so you can perfect your body language as well. Once you’ve made your elevator pitch out, then what? Stop talking and wait for the other person to ask a question or a make a comment if they want to learn more. The most important part of an elevator pitch is to connect with another human being.