Why you should PIMP your Elevator Pitch

“Hi, I’m Ellie Rich-Poole, The Recruitment Coach. I help leaders land their perfect role and be brilliant in it by playing to their strengths. My coaching clients tell me I am like their personal trainer, but for their job search.”

Why do you need an elevator pitch? 

The dictionary defines an elevator pitch as “a short effective explanation used to spark interest”. Imagine getting into an elevator with someone and having only about 20 seconds to make an impression.  You need one so you can concisely answer the question “who are you, what do you do?” … and if you are ever lucky enough to get into an elevator with the CEO of your dream company / your ideal investor / someone you would love to collaborate with, you are fully prepared to impactfully introduce yourself.

As the Will Rogers quote goes:

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

If you don’t already have a fabulous elevator pitch, here are 11 tips to help you create yours:

1. Know your goal. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you looking for a new role? Are you trying to build your business? Are you new to a country and wanting to grow your network?

2. Write it down. However works for you. I like an old-school A4 notebook, others prefer a laptop, it doesn’t matter, just write it.

3. Write like you would speak. Use simple language with no jargon, buzz words or competencies. Use short words that are easier to say. Less is more – keep it concise.

4. Make sure your opener includes:

  • Who you are – your name
  • What you do / who you help
  • What makes you unique or your greatest strength

5. Prepare some follow up questions

It’s never a good idea to keep talking AT someone. It’s important to come over as natural and conversational. So, after your punchy opener you should have some questions prepped that you can draw on depending what is most relevant. This will give you a “close” or call to action. It could be a question to start a conversation. It could be a request. It could be an assumptive follow up.

So after my initial opener at the top I could say:

“How are you finding the market?” (and then discuss it – a conversation opener)

“I would love to help you get your perfect job. I will pop you a LinkedIn request over later so we can stay in touch.” (assumptive keeping in touch)

“If you ever need a recruitment coach, you know where I am.” (offering my service but not in a pushy way, as that isn’t my style).

6. Then PIMP it! Check back through what you have written and make sure it is:

  • Punchy
  • Interesting
  • Memorable
  • Persuasive

If it isn’t, keep writing until you are happy with it ?

7. Practise saying it out loud to the mirror or record it on your phone. I know. It is cringey. But much better to do it home alone than test it on Mark Zuckerberg in the elevator. Sense check:

  • Do you sound authentic?
  • Do you sound impactful?
  • Are you clear about your message?
  • Are you thinking of the needs of the listener?
  • Do you ask a question, rather than just talk at them non-stop? Can you move it into a conversation, rather than just a statement?

8. Practise it on friends and ask for feedback.

9. Evolve it. Rewrite it until you are happy with it.

10. Keep saying it out loud until it becomes natural.

11. Start using it in public! You can still finesse it as you go, and it will no doubt change over time.

Good luck!

If you would like some additional one to one support with your Elevator Pitch and more, visit my website for more information on my First Impressions coaching programme.

Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

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