elevator pitch

Going Up?

Ginny Gaylor

Craft an elevator pitch that will take you places.

Does your elevator pitch rise to the occasion?

Pithiness is great. We love it in fact. And your elevator pitch needs to be short and sweet, and memorable if you can swing it. But you don’t want a jargon-laden buzzword-fest that you can’t say out loud with a straight face. Read on for how to craft an elevator pitch that sums up your career goals or your business’s mission clearly and without making you cringe.

You go high

The best elevator pitches aim to verbalize a high concept, aka a universal truth. This is a statement that just about anyone will agree with, such as saving money is good or feeling safe is important. Now what is the universal truth that relates to you or your company that you want to promote?

Keep it fresh

Once you’ve determined what is the high concept you want to convey when you are pitching yourself or your business, then come up with a bit of a twist. When you follow your universal truth with something unexpected, your audience is more likely to retain the message behind your elevator pitch.

Watch your words

Your elevator pitch doesn’t necessarily have to address a so-called pain point. It shouldn’t be overly personal. And you probably want to skip industry slang, while still sticking to language that someone in your space will get. Be clear. Be relatable. And if your actual job title is word wrangler or czar of human resources, maybe opt for something a bit more down to earth.

Strike a tone

You’ve got your universal truth and your unexpected twist. Your language is concise and easy to comprehend. Elevator pitch complete, right? Not quite. Next consider who you are speaking to so you are adopting the right tone. Most likely you’ll need separate elevator pitches for peers, mentors and recruiters if you are focused on a personal elevator pitch. If your pitch is for your business, craft different ones for customers and clients and for investors. You may even want to have options depending on if you are meeting someone in a social or business setting.


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