Pitch perfect – developing a successful elevator pitch

We all encounter situations when we have only a fleeting opportunity to introduce ourselves to someone we’d like to make contact with and / or impress. My colleague, Susan Bird, offers advice on how to make the most these opportunities:

elevator picture

You’re at a conference or CPD seminar and have just grabbed a sandwich. You’ve just realised that one of the speakers who is influential in your field is also grabbing a sandwich. You have a brief opportunity to introduce yourself in a way that could open up some interesting conversations. So, what do you say?

An elevator pitch is a marketing principle based on the idea of how you would pitch a business, product or service to someone in the time of a quick elevator ride but it can be used equally well to talk succinctly about yourself. It can be used in a variety of professional situations such as conferences, networking events and in interviews.

For many of us, this can feel a bit out of our comfort zone but it’s an important part of professional networking and one that can pay dividends in terms of making an impact and being remembered for all the right reasons.

Being confident about what you say and how you say it is a skill that improves with practice, although some preparation in advance always helps especially as the whole principle hangs on your pitch being 30-60 seconds. So before your next event, start by thinking:

  • Who could you be talking to and what might be of most interest to them about you?
  • Why do you want to talk to them? What are you trying to achieve?

 Seven steps to a good elevator pitch

  • Start with your name and course/work you are doing
  • Come up with two or three key points you might want to get across about yourself, your experience and what you are interested in (…what you are developing as a result of ODL course could make you stand out…)
  • End with a call to action – are you looking for advice? Scope to collaborate on a project or dissertation? An introduction to others in their sector?
  • Write everything down
  • Practice actually saying this – a lot – in a mirror, on your phone or webcam, with friends – before you attend any events until you feel a bit more confident but keep the tone conversational.
  • Keep it under 60 seconds
  • Finish with a question to get the conversation going

Find out more about elevator pitches at:


2) http://www.wikihow.com/Develop-Your-Personal-Elevator-Pitch