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Crafting the Perfect Elevator Speech

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Wesley Lipschultz

on 26 October 2016

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Transcript of Crafting the Perfect Elevator Speech

Crafting the Perfect Elevator Speech
What is an elevator speech?
What is an elevator speech
"An elevator pitch is a concise, compelling and well-rehearsed description of your idea." - C-Level Communications Workbook, University of Pittsburgh Executive MBA Program



Wes Lipschultz
Director of Student Services
The iSchool at Pitt
Key Elements
Clear
What not to do
Don't use "internal dialogue"
Examples for iSchool Students
WHAT AN ISCHOOL IS AND HOW YOUR ISCHOOL SKILLS ARE VALUABLE: Do you know what car navigation systems, Pandora, Yelp, and facebook all have in common? They make massive amounts of data work for you in real time. Understanding data, your needs, and using technology to make the data work for you are both my skills and my experience in the iSchool. If you have any openings, I'd love to find out more about your needs and how I can help.
"An elevator pitch is a conversation, or an ice breaker, that will (hopefully) lead into a deeper dialogue about the functionality, and specialty, of what you...can offer."

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228070#ixzz2kSMOyrxs
"This is the 30-60 second business description of what you do and why someone should work with you."

Read more: http://www.dumblittleman.com/2007/08/how-to-craft-killer-elevator-pitch-that.html
Concise
Expresses your passion
Is honest
Avoids jargon/buzzwords
Takes 60-90 seconds
Establishes your credibility
Ends with a call to action
Shows you are likable
Is always on the tip of your tongue
Sales-ey
Has a hook
Is backed by knowledge
Tells a story
Goal oriented
Takes practice
Relates to what people know
Shows your uniqueness
Is memorable
Is natural
Avoid buzzwords/jargon
Don't make a data/rating claim unless you have the source reference to back it up
Targeted
Practice so you don't stutter, say "um" or trip over words
The speech should sound conversational and natural, not memorized
Don't ignore your nonverbal communication
Evoke visual imagery in your speech (sea of garbage and diamonds example)
What To Do
Try starting with a question to "hook" people in
Tell a story
Brainstorm skills, stories, questions, accomplishments, audiences, and list them. Think of them like your personal database. Let them sit for a day. Go back and pick out the best ones and use them as the building blocks of your speech.
Practice with your friends and family
Relate who you are to the person's familiars (closet filled with a million items example)
Highlight how your skills are uniquely valuable
The four step approach:
1) Begin with action phrase
2) Add one sentence about what you do
3) Make an impact statement
4) End with a call to action
Practice until you are so comfortable with the speech that you don't even have to think about it - the words just flow, they don't sound memorized, and they sound like a natural conversation
Develop different speeches for different audiences
Try to reflect your passion, personality, and likability in the speech
WHAT AN ISCHOOL IS AND HOW YOUR ISCHOOL SKILLS ARE VALUABLE: Every fact, invention, work of art, policy, law, photo, research finding, love letter, piece of history, song, invoice, movie, customer file, tweet, post, email, and blueprint lives somewhere. From what I've learned in the iSchool, I can help you arrange, store, access, use, throw away, recycle, or donate to charity every one of these items as easily as if they were shoes in your closet.
Resources
How to create an elevator pitch:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chicceo/2013/02/05/how-to-create-an-elevator-pitch/
How to craft a killer elevator pitch that will land you big business:
http://www.dumblittleman.com/2007/08/how-to-craft-killer-elevator-pitch-that.html
The perfect elevator pitch: in 20 seconds or less, tell me what you do:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/10/01/the-perfect-elevator-pitch-in-20-seconds-or-less-tell-me-what-you-do/
How to create your memorable elevator pitch [4 simple steps]:
http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/how-create-your-memorable-elevator-pitch-four-simple-steps/
6 tips for perfecting your elevator pitch:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228070
Going up? How to pitch yourself on an elevator!
http://sph.umn.edu/going-up-how-to-pitch-yourself-on-an-elevator/
Talk about how your experiences relate to your skills and their needs
NETWORKING AT A CAREER FAIR: Hi, nice to meet you [elevator person]. My name is Jim and I’m a Master's student in the iSchool at Pitt. I’m hoping to get an internship at [your company] this summer. I first heard about [company] after doing some research on companies that worked in the field of robotics. I became interested in robotics while taking a class earlier this year where we worked on a project developing control systems and interfaces for robots that search for earthquake survivors. I did well on the project and immediately thought that this was something I definitely wanted to explore further. And after looking around at a few companies I saw immediately that [company] was doing work that I was interested in and I am very excited to have a chance to talk to you today.

Is driven by your experience
Where to use your speech
Academic and/or professional conferences
When talking to employers after info sessions in our building
iFest career fair
Pitt career fairs
While working at an internship and meeting people
When meeting other professionals at social events
Full transcript