By: Giselle Gallegos

Maybe you’ve heard the term before: Elevator Pitch. So, what is it exactly?

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Put simply, an elevator pitch is a short speech on what a company, business, or individual does and inspires interest to those listening. It should be less than a minute long or around the time of an elevator ride, hence the clever name!

Elevator pitches are useful in getting your point across to somebody in a short amount of time, which prevents them from losing interest and gives them all the necessary information quickly. This is helpful to individuals who are trying to secure clients or meetings with investors. However, you can also use an elevator pitch to market yourself to potential employers.

Knowing what an elevator pitch is can be the first part in constructing your own elevator pitch; the next part is gathering the most important points to communicate during the speech.

To start off, make sure to tell the listener what your organization does. Do you sell paper? Rescue puppies? Making sure you start off with what your company/business does makes for less confusion and more comprehension on the listeners’ part. If you are using your pitch to market yourself, tell them if you are currently attending school or your current employment.

If you are marketing yourself, the middle of the speech should contain any specialties or gained skills that you have. For instance, making sure that a potential employer knows that you have past PR experience is a great jumping off point and could get you an interview. If you are pitching a company, it is important to add in anything that gives your business a unique approach. This is how you garner interest in what you are trying to promote.

Finally, your pitch should include either a question or a call to action. By asking a question that pertains to the topic at hand, you are involving the listener within your speech. The same is true for a call to action, such as asking for a one on one meeting to further explain your pitch.  By taking a leap such as this one, you may find yourself succeeding with your pitch.

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It should also be noted that sometimes you don’t succeed, and the listener is simply not looking to buy into what you are pitching. In such instances, it is essential to take the rejection with grace and learn from the experience. Every pitch is an opportunity for you to practice your speech, which will only get better with time.

As with most things, elevator pitches are all about the communication. Being able to quickly communicate what you are all about and looking for is a skill in itself, which is sure to help you within your career path.