If you’ve ever been to a networking event, you know the importance of a good elevator pitch. Essentially, it’s a succinct description of your background and experience so that you can introduce yourself with ease in professional situations. You can adapt the summary for other purposes, such as Twitter bios and online portfolios, but having some consistency will allow you to build your personal brand.
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Here are three tips for crafting the perfect elevator pitch, regardless of your level of experience.
Keep It Succinct
It’s called an elevator pitch for a reason: you need to make it short enough to deliver during a brief elevator ride. Think of the highlights of your career so far and stick to these, to show what you bring to the table. If you’ve worked with some well-known brands, include them as they’ll be easily remembered.
Make it clear how many years of experience you have, and if you’re just starting out, place an emphasis on what types of opportunities you’re interested in pursuing. Cut out anything that sounds outdated or redundant; you don’t need to give your life story. The perfect elevator pitch should take between 30 and 60 seconds to deliver at a measured pace.
End With an Opening
An elevator pitch should be the beginning of a discussion, so how will you start that? Don’t be shy about letting people know about the kind of work you’re looking for, or if there’s a particular question you have for them. Your pitch has to have a point, so come back to why you’re introducing yourself and networking in the first place.
Whether it’s an investment opportunity, a job search, or a request for an informational interview, get to the point so that the response will be what you’re after.
While you will want to have the key points of your pitch memorized, it’s a mistake to sound over-rehearsed. Practice it before an event or interview if you’re feeling nervous, but keep relaxed when actually talking, and prepare for an interruption or subject change. Spontaneous conversations won’t always give you the opportunity to get through the entire pitch, so don’t stress about it being perfect every time.
The real point of an elevator pitch is to have a few quick details to provide so that the person remembers you, and can quickly connect you with what you’re looking for. Update those details as needed, so it always sounds fresh and relevant to your current career and ambitions.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have an up–to-date elevator pitch? Do you know what you’d include in yours at your next networking event? Share your tips in the comments below or join the discussion on Twitter.