An Elevator Speech: 16 Seconds to Make an Impression
June 18, 2012
Do you remember the last commercial you watched on TV? The catchphrase from the last commercial I watched is still with me. Imagine there is a statement about you that really sticks with a potential employer like that. An elevator speech is basically a commercial about you!
A short (15-30 second, 150 words) sound bite that introduces you in a memorable way is basically your elevator speech. You are advertising what you can do. It is perfect for job fairs, networking and even for the “tell me a little about yourself” question at interviews.
To get started, brainstorm words and phrases that describe who you are and what you do. Write them down. When you are finished, cross off those that are common catchphrases or that don’t uniquely and honestly describe you. Next, brainstorm a list of what most employers in your field are looking for in their employees.
Next, using the words and phrases that you came up with, create a 2-3 sentence speech about how you can uniquely help the employer solve a need.
Finally, wrap up by asking for something. Ask if you may give them your business card or résumé, or if they know of someone who is hiring.
Here is sample, catchy elevator speech by a person who worked as a journeyman gasfitter for a gas utility company.
“Hi, I am [name]; I pass gas for a living. I am looking for work in which all of my skills in natural gas can be put to good use. Can I please send you my resume?”
Needless to say, no one forgot what this man did for a living!
An elevator speech will not take the place of networking and building a relationship, but it will help you start the conversation.
It is best to practice, practice, practice your speech. If you cannot deliver it to yourself in the mirror, you won’t be able to give it to anyone else.
View a short video, How to Pitch a Perfect Elevator Speech.
Just remember the average elevator ride is 16 seconds. How will you use your 16 seconds?
Jenifer Wofford, GCDF
Jenifer is currently working on her Masters of Christian Education online. Her future plans are to learn how to create a database system in Access.