It’s likely that you’ve heard the expression “elevator pitch” at some stage. But do you really know what it means? In fact it’s a brief speech or presentation in which you have to convince someone of your worth in less time than a ride in an elevator. Although it’s mainly used by start ups trying to get financing from investors, it’s also used in recruitment, although not for hiring people but to convincing others that you can be the right candidate for a position in the company, so that they want to know you better.

Presenting yourself to somebody you don’t know in less than 2 minutes and convincing him or her that you are the right person for the job is not an easy task. But nor is it impossible. The main thing is to have a well-structured message, clear and concise, so that after this short period of time, the other person wants to know more about you. Only this way will you have achieved your goal!

But before your first elevator pitch, prepare well, bearing in mind the following points:

  • Answer the basic questions: who you are; your goals; why these particular goals etc
  • Sell yourself
  • Highlight your previous experience that might be useful for the other person to know
  • Clearly explain what you want to achieve
  • Be natural; don’t try to project a different image during your presentation

Remember that time is precious, in this case even more so. This means not being long-winded or including information that is not vital and might result in you missing out on a job opportunity. Another mistake is focusing on more than one or two ideas. Too many and you might not make clear what your goal is and even contradict yourself.

Try and make the start of your pitch attractive so that it grabs the listener’s attention; refer to something that makes you stand out as someone special. And, of course, leave something interesting for the end of your presentation. This will wake up the other person’s interest in you so that they will want to know more about you.

Once you have worked out your elevator pitch, practise it as often as necessary so that it’s the correct length and your intonation is right. But don’t try to memorise it or you will be less natural when you actually have to do it.

Going up?

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