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elevator Pitch and its flavors

Definition of elevator pitch: a succinct and persuasive sales pitch

Wikipedia says: The name — elevator pitch — reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.

I recently was part of a session where we were given tools and tips to write an elevator pitch which was engaging. Since we were given a very simple format and examples we could articulate ourselves in a structured way.

We were also given an opportunity to get feedback from senior leaders. Very helpful.

But “elevator pitch” got me thinking. I was trying to think about a time when I used it, or a time when I could have used it, or a time when there was a chance but I just said something and cursed myself later because I could have expressed myself better. There were many instances.

I also reached out to peers and managers to ask them what they felt about an elevator pitch.

I have realized that an elevator pitch or different flavours of elevator pitch, if ready, can come handy in multiple situations.

1. Bumping into a senior leader in your organization: You are by the printer waiting for your 10 pages to come through and a senior manager walks in and asks you how you are doing? Instead of saying “I am good” and then being at a loss. Always keep 2–3 lines ready on the work you are currently doing and how it is adding value. If the person knows you, you might not need to introduce yourself. However, if they don’t know you well, 2 sentences about your own self that can hook them into what you say will help them remember you.

2. Meetings with different teams or vendors or customers: A well-articulated pitch about what your project/team/organization is doing and how it adds value will leave an impression. It demonstrates you as someone who is prepared and well versed with what you and your organization/project is trying to achieve. This is a situation where your impact will help you get business or contacts.

3. Interviews: Most interviews begin with “tell us about yourself” — this is usually the first question and a well-crafted pitch will hook in the panel right at the start. An engaging pitch can set the tone of the interview. It will highlight the fact that you are prepared. And it will boost your confidence for the rest of the interview. Also, if you are on the interviewing panel it is a good practice to introduce yourself, and you won’t have to leave it by just saying something like “I am a Business Analyst”.

4. Talks or conferences or panels: Before any talk or conference or panels you should introduce yourself. The first few lines you say and how you say it can tune in the audience.

5. Cover Letter/LinkedIn profile: Irrespective of whether you are actively seeking an opportunity or having the time of your life in your current role, it is a good practice to have your cover letter ready. A version of elevator pitch that highlight your strengths and values and what you bring to the table can go a long way in engaging a recruiter.

6. Networking events: You might be at a vendor hosted event or an event your organization is hosting or a meetup or a business/technical conference, a short succinct elevator pitch about yourself will help you navigate it and leave an impression about you as well.

These situations need different flavours of the elevator pitch. But once you put an effort into crafting your first one. The others flow easily. You might only need to tweak it to work in different situations and with different people.

What I have learnt is keep it authentic and passionate. The more real it feels to you the more effective it will be when you say it, the more confident you will be when you pitch it.

There are multiple resources on the internet to help you craft your pitch. However, reach out if you need some tips.

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