The Sixty-Second Elevator Pitch

Review these notes on how to prepare a 60-second elevator pitch.

Possible Topics for Your Elevator Pitch

What is the rational or goal of your pitch? Here are some opening words to help you begin. The words you use will depend on your mission. Deliver your entire pitch in 30-60 seconds.
  • Job search – I am looking for a position that ...
  • Research overview – I am investigating and looking for funding ...
  • Personal background – I have been ... I am ...
  • Life goals – It is important to me to become ...
  • Philosophical belief – I believe that ...

Perfect Your Pitch

Assemble the following materials for your elevator pitch:
  1. Skills or ideas;
  2. List of phrases;
  3. Description of your qualifications;
  4. Practice.
  1. Brainstorm a list of words and phrases that describe you: be honest, unique, and avoid clichés.
  2. Craft a list of descriptions and qualifications that you can share in 30 seconds or less.
  3. Write the pitch like you naturally speak.
  4. Practice in front of friends until it sounds natural.
  5. Make your pitch about the needs and problems facing your listener.
  6. Describe your value in solving these problems.
  7. Allow room for dialogue and conversation; anticipate their questions and responses.
  8. Ask for a business card or permission to send your resume – some next step.

Assemble the Pieces

Be succinct! Use only three to four talking points.

  1. Who I am.
  2. What I have done.
  3. What I offer.
  4. How I can help you.

Best Tips

  • Focus on your USP (unique selling proposition): what is so special about you?
  • How can you help solve a problem?
  • Lead them to ask, “Please tell me more ...”
  • Remember non-verbal cues, body language, natural rhythm, confidence – not arrogance.
  • Keep it culturally appropriate (use proper eye contact, respect personal space, bow, kiss or shake hands).

A Sample Pitch

My name is Steve. I have been an international educator and a journalist for more than 20 years. I have taught for UCSB and UCLA, and as I was a television bureau chief in Moscow covering the final months of the Soviet Union. Mostly, what I do in both education and journalism is to try to reduce complicated issues to simple terms that everyone can understand. My doctorate and research is in transcultural communications. That means I try to find ways to help you connect across cultures with your audience wherever you may be in the world.

(40 seconds)

Source: Steven R. Van Hook and Saylor Academy
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2021, 9:03 AM