The Elevator Speech

The Challenge: Create a compelling speech about your entire professional life lasting no more than 15-second. Be able to offer it on demand and under pressure.

The so-called “elevator pitch” requires serious practice. Regardless of the audience, regardless of whether you are sitting, standing or walking down a hall or talking on the phone, you should be comfortable. You never know whether your next open door will take place at family gatherings, in the waiting room of the doctor’s office or at a coffee shop.

You’ll want to describe the impact you have had and can continue to have on a project or work environment. Make it about who you are rather than what you do. Don’t try to rattle off as much information as possible. Be thoughtful and deliberate. Show you are calm and confidence. Yet still be passionate and genuine.

Here are some question that may help you discover your elevator pitch and paint a compelling self portrait:

What do you think your value to an employer really is?

What have you been proudest of in your work life?

What do you love to do?

What makes you unique?

A word of caution; Pre-packaged, over-practiced pitches can come across as lacking respect for the person you are trying to win over. They are not a means to an end but a person. Your goal isn’t just to sell yourself but start an "elevator conversation." It's not just about yourself, it’s about us.

Think of it this way: Most people want to hire interesting intelligent people with whom they would enjoy spending their working day.

Stephen Goforth