Pitch Perfect – Learn to Give an Awesome Elevator Pitch
Posted August 1, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Hi, I’m Jenny I work in digital content at Career FAQs. We offer expert career and education advice, as well as hundreds of courses from leading providers.
I’m part of a small marketing team so my role is really hands-on and quite varied. In a nutshell, I pitch and produce content for our blog, newsletters, social media channels and SEO. I have a real knack for storytelling and putting together sharp and concise copy, which reaches one million people a month.
… And that my friends was my elevator pitch. Want to know how to write yours?
The perfect pitch is between 20 to 30 seconds (or around 90 words) and should include what you do, who do you do it for, and any unique selling points. Think of it like an ad about yourself that you’ll have ready to roll off the tongue anytime, anywhere.
You never know what opportunities are just around the corner, so it’s important to have your pitch prepared and practised next time you’re at a networking event, heading in for an interview or even when you’re at a bar and someone asks, “what do you do?”
Regardless of who you’re talking with, you want to leave them wanting to know more, so it’s important that your pitch is succinct, free of jargon (make it simple enough for someone who’s not ‘in the biz’ to understand) and packs a punch.
“Don’t overcomplicate your pitch … The mark of true knowledge in anything is how well you can explain to the average person. Keep your pitch simple and under 30 seconds—practice your elevator pitch!” – Robert Herjavec (businessman and author)
Piecing Together Your Pitch
The best way to organise your thoughts is to lay them all out on paper.
- Summarise what your current role is
- What are you professional accomplishments
- What are your greatest skills and strengths
- What are you willing and able to do for them
• What you don’t say can be just as powerful as what you do say – you want them to ask questions and continue to conversation.
• Make sure your language is interesting and persuasive. Avoid terms like “I’m good at” and try something more attention grabbing like “savvy” or “expert in”.
• Write the way you speak. Just because something reads well on paper, it doesn’t always flow naturally when you say it out loud.
• Be brief – you’ve only got a short time to make an impression. Remember it’s called the elevator pitch because it’s meant to reflect the time it’ll take to get from one floor to another.
• Once it’s all put together the most important thing is to be authentic and engaging with your delivery. Tell it well and they’ll always be asking for more.
• PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Practice out loud and get comfortable with it – you want it to sound as effortless as possible.
• Personalise your approach to the listener.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID:
We’ve covered all the do’s when putting together your pitch but what about the no no’s?
• Avoid speeding through your pitch and talking too fast
• Don’t be stiff – relax and keep it conversational
• Try not to get stage fright; you’ve spent all this time perfecting your pitch so it’s important to stay cool, calm and confident.
• Avoid going on and on, the point of the pitch is to keep it short, sweet and to the point.
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.