You find yourself in the presence of a representative from a company you’re interested in working for – what do you say?
Whether it’s an accidental meeting, a networking event, or a career fair, you have a very short amount of time to make a positive impression. Often called an elevator speech or a 30 second commercial, these short introductions are your first chance to tell someone about yourself and convince them that they want to know more. It can be extremely difficult to offer valuable information that is going to help you stand out and make an impact on the person with whom you are speaking. Practice, practice, practice!
Don’t get too caught up in trying to memorize an elevator speech – you need to be able to adapt quickly and discuss key points that are relevant to the organization or person in front of you. However, it can help to keep the following tips in mind to give you a framework of what to say and help you practice:
- Who are you? Give the basics! (name, major, class standing….)
- Why are you interested? What’s your purpose in talking with them?
- Why are you qualified? What can you do for them?
- What makes you stand out from your competition? What’s your hook?
Prepare responses ahead of time and practice saying them concisely and confidently. Practicing out loud is a must – preferably in front of someone so that you can hear how your speech flows and so they can provide you with feedback. Take a look at The Elevator Pitch video from CareerSpots for some real-life examples of students giving their elevator speech to a recruiter who then offers feedback on what stood out to her and what could be improved. The article Fantastic Formulas for Composing Elevator Speeches also offers great advice from the experts for ways to outline your introduction.