Going Up? The Importance of the Elevator Speech

Going Up? The Importance of the Elevator Speech

At this point, most people know what an elevator speech is, especially job seekers. In an interview, an elevator speech (or elevator pitch) is a clear, concise message about yourself. Typically lasting about 30 seconds, it communicates who you are, what you are looking for and how you can benefit the company or organization. Whether or not the origin of the term came from running into important people in elevators or delivering a concise and clear sales pitch in the time it takes to ride an elevator from top to bottom, one thing is certain – it’s important.

Check out just some of the many useful ways an elevator speech can help round out your job hunting arsenal.

Casual networking encounters
We run into networking opportunities nearly every day – the grocery store, airports, bars, restaurants, kid’s little league games. It’s situations like these that an elevator speech can come in handy as you attempt to make a big impact in a small amount of time.

Career and job fairs
What’s the whole point of a job fair? To network. Duh. Having an elevator speech prepared can help you effectively communicate yourself verbally instead of just on paper. After all, you may have great credentials but if you can’t convey yourself through speech, then employers are probably going to look elsewhere.

Cold calls and voicemails
When you’re in the middle of your job search, sometimes it’s easiest to just pick up the phone and call potential employers. After all, the worst they can do is turn you down, but at least you tried. Simply calling employers and delivering your elevator speech can get them interested and, if all goes well, get you in for a formal interview. The same goes for leaving a voicemail. If you call a potential employer and they’re away from their phone, leave your elevator speech on their voicemail. Who knows, you may just get a call back.

Within your own company
If you’re looking to advance in your current company, what better time to pitch some of the head honchos with your elevator speech? You could even pitch them in the elevator.

In an actual interview
If you’ve been through formal interviews, then you’re accustomed to common questions that they typically ask applicants – “Tell me a little about yourself,” and, “So, why should I hire you?” With a prepared elevator speech, you can knock these questions, and other similar ones, straight out of the park.

Start working on your elevator speech if you haven’t. Use your resume to summarize some of your greatest achievements and what you can do for future employers. Speeches can range anywhere from 15 seconds to a couple of minutes. Tailoring your speech and its length to particular situations, however, can help you out in any circumstance.