“Sometimes opportunity knocks, but most of the time it sneaks up and then quietly steals away.” – Doug Larson

First impressions can have a lasting effect in the business world. Whether you are trying to sell yourself as a candidate for a job or selling your company’s service, a refined elevator pitch can have a profound impact upon your success.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief sales speech; it is an opportunity. It is derived from the idea that you should be able to communicate it over the course of an elevator ride, this pitch will establish what people will remember about you. Lasting for about one minute, this pitch should effectively communicate who you are, what you do, and your ultimate goals. Outlined below are tips to ensure that your pitch elevates you to new heights.

Identify your goal

Figure out what you want to accomplish with your pitch. Are you trying to impress others with your professional background in an attempt to land a new job? Are you attracting potential new clients to conduct business with? After introducing yourself, identify your field and describe what your company does, or describe the type of work that you aspire to attain. Elevator pitches are designed to be short and simple, so by identifying your objective at the onset of the pitch you can easily clarify your intent and grab the attention of your audience.

Show your passion naturally

Above all else, your pitch needs to be captivating. Enthusiasm that exhibits passion will strengthen your pitch. If you are not excited about your own pitch, how do you expect others to respond? Display traits of your character so others can understand your cultural fit. Coming off as a personable individual will lead to a more comfortable atmosphere and will further contribute to your chances of success.

Be Unique!

After you explain what it is that you do, you need to define what distinguishes you from others in your field. Understanding your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will be the differentiating factor that leads to increased success with your elevator pitch. This proposition is a factor that separates one entity from its competition. Many individuals and companies have similar qualities and experiences. What separates you from the competition? Choose memorable examples that highlight the unique attributes that make you who you are. Explain challenges that you have faced and the steps you took to overcome them. This is the aspect of your pitch that will be remembered by your audience and increase the likelihood of you or your company becoming candidates to do business with in the future.

Put it on paper

In order to perfect your pitch, it is essential that you write it down. This is the initial step in figuring out the order of topics that you want to address. This will make your pitch more fluid and allow you to easily make edits when needed. Write down everything that you would want an employer or potential client to know about your skills and work experiences that are relevant to your ultimate goal of the conversation. After jotting it down, you can delete the non-essentials and continue to edit/format until you have the precise product you desire.

No Industry jargon

You need to make your pitch easy to understand. Eliminating any acronyms or terms relevant to your field that are not commonly known will go a long way. Don’t confuse your audience!

Tailor your pitch

People are naturally self-centered, even when considering a business-related topic. People will approach you with the mentality of “What’s in it for me?” By focusing your pitch on their needs, you improve your odds of success. Utilizing terminology that focuses on the benefits you can provide will better convince others of the quality of your services.


Practice makes perfect. Reciting your pitch in front of the mirror or to people that are close to you will not only make you feel more comfortable when saying it later, but will also elicit beneficial advice. This is where you have the opportunity to build confidence and construct variations for different situations. You need to be adaptable to appeal to diverse crowds and be prepared to give your pitch at any moment. Step out of your comfort zone and continue to practice your pitch at different types of events or gatherings to master your execution.

Pass the mic

Congratulations! You have finished your pitch and have incorporated all of the proper material to set yourself up for success. Time permitting, ask your listener about themselves. This will make the conversation feel less like an interview and appeal to your audience as they are able to share the spotlight a little. You can also get a better idea as to whether or not that person would be compatible with you as a business partner.

Follow up

At the conclusion of your conversation make sure to collect the appropriate contact information to continue your conversation. You should follow up to ensure that you are remembered and seen in a positive light. A simple hand-written thank you for their time will suffice and can help you maintain a congenial connection for you to leverage in the future.