The Elevator Pitch Isn’t Only For Elevators

By Valerie L. Hawes, Lead for Organizational Learning and Development

How often are you using your elevator pitch?  Hopefully, you aren’t ONLY waiting for those few opportunities when you find yourself at the job interview, occasional networking events, or at the job fairs.  And please don’t tell me that you are only using it during those infrequent times that you find yourself in an actual elevator! 

It’s called an elevator pitch or elevator speech because it should only take around 30 to 60 seconds – around the amount of time that you would be between floors in an elevator with someone.  But these aren’t the only places where you can share your personal brand with others.  You may find yourself using it when you meet anyone, just about anywhere!  It is that short speech to sell your personal brand when you’re in the right place with the right person at the right time…that could be almost anywhere. 

Any event can become an opportunity to network, and an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Use your elevator speech everywhere you can, and you’ll find that your network of meaningful connections grows to be a whole lot bigger than you’ve ever imagined.

Here are a few nontraditional places to share your elevator pitch:

Social Media Sites: 

Connect and engage with people on social media forums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. As you connect with people, they’ll want to know more. So, fitting an explanation into 140 characters or less is super useful online. Also, getting involved in daily chats, online forums in your professional circle, and relevant LinkedIn groups will help expand your reach, and learn pertinent trends sweeping your industry, currently. 

Weddings, Reunions, and other Social Gatherings:

A wedding, reunions and other social gatherings are the perfect places to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. This is one of the best ways to widen your circle of business associates. If you do not know someone, simply ask someone you do know for an introduction. If you can’t find anyone that knows the person you want to meet, you can take the initiative and introduce yourself using your elevator pitch.

At the Gym and Exercise Groups:

The gym and/or an exercise class is a great opportunity to meet a diverse group of people. There will be business owners, executives, community organizers, and all sorts of individuals working out. Therefore, it’s a great place for you to meet people who may be instrumental in your career.  Just before instruction begins, some may be stretching or getting settled for the class.  This could be a chance to meet a new friend. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself and expand your network.

Remember that your Elevator Pitch needs to be brief but clear and interesting.  Here are a few pointers when delivering your Elevator Pitch:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Use eye contact and open body language.
  • Use clear language – try not to ramble.
  • Say what position you hold or are currently seeking.
  • Talk about your abilities and your experience.
  • Emphasize your individual strengths.
  • Ask for business card (email and phone) – give your card
  • Discuss sending resume (or other information) or possible meeting/phone dates and times.

Now…go and share your elevator pitch and your personal brand with the everyone!

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