The concept of an elevator pitch originated from the idea that if you found yourself in an elevator with a person of influence, you should be able to succinctly convey what you do or the value you bring within just a few floors. However, if you are in a confined space with someone, the last thing you should do is pitch. Instead, see this as an excellent opportunity to make a genuine connection. A friendly greeting or an insightful comment can open the door for a follow-up meeting.

Despite this, briefly and effectively articulating your message remains valuable. An elevator pitch can leave a lasting, positive impression when delivered skillfully. Here is my framework for crafting an authentic and impactful pitch:

  1. I am…

    Describe your role clearly and concisely. This establishes your identity and professional standing.

  2. Recently I…

  3. Provide a concrete example of something you have accomplished. This could be a project you led, a problem you solved, or a significant achievement. It’s essential to have a repertoire of these examples to tailor to different audiences.
  4. Aligning with Their Needs:

    Frame your achievements in a way that highlights their benefits to the person you’re working with. This step is crucial as it shifts the focus from you to them. For example:

  • “I enjoyed being part of this project, which leveraged my organizational and leadership skills. Please let me know if there are other opportunities where I can assist the organization similarly.”
  • “It was gratifying to be part of this team because I utilized my experience as a project manager and IT specialist. I want to explore how I can be your resource in this capacity.”

The goal is to ensure the listener sees the value in your expertise and how it can benefit them.

In my sessions on Personal Branding, participants often express hesitation in sharing their achievements, fearing they might come across as boastful or self-serving. It’s essential to reframe this mindset from selling to adding value. When you see your pitch as an opportunity to offer something beneficial, it becomes more comfortable and genuine.

Practice Makes Perfect:

Regular practice is critical. Your customers, colleagues, clients, managers, etc., need to know what you’re capable of and how your expertise can benefit them. However, avoid gratuitous self-promotion.

Like any effective presentation, a skillful elevator pitch should always consider the audience. Craft your message to highlight your value to the listener, ensuring it is relevant and beneficial to them.

Focusing on these elements can elevate your elevator pitch to authentic and impactful levels, leaving a positive and lasting impression on those you meet.