What would you say about yourself when all you have is 30 seconds?

How many of you have heard of the 30 second “elevator speech” or “elevator pitch”?


This is a clear, brief message (kinda commercial) about you. It’s purpose is to communicate (in a whole 30 seconds – about the length of an elevator ride) who you are, what you are looking for, and how you can benefit an organization. The idea behind this speech is that you are prepared to share this information with anyone, at anytime. It is important to have your speech memorized and practiced. Practice it out loud so you can perfect it. It should not sound rehearsed, rather, it should sound completely natural in conversation.

The following are the parameters of the elevator pitch:

  • no longer than 30 seconds,
  • or approximately 80 – 90 words,
  • or 8 – 10 sentences.

Sounds like a pretty difficult task huh? Well here are some tips to help you develop an awesome elevator pitch.

The MAIN component of an elevator pitch is TIME. As a result, remember the following:

  • Get to the point. You have limited time to get your message across. So keep your introduction short and get right to your message.
  • Consider not only your body language but the body language of the person receiving your message. This is feedback that will allow you to get on track with your pitch. Also, ALWAYS maintain eye contact. This aspect is very important for effective communication.

The SECOND important component is your MESSAGE. This is the opportunity to share who you are and what you are seeking. An effective message has the following:

  • Start with a positive and confident introduction. This will set the tone of your message.
  • Be specific. By the end of your pitch your audience should know who you are and what you are seeking.
  • Practice your message! The message is the core of your pitch, the intro and closing could always be modified however your message is key. Make sure you know it and the message is delivered clearly.
  • Keep the message concise. Stay on target with the key components of your message and stay away from those pesky message fillers. The “likes” and “uhms” and the “okay”.

Then the FINAL step is your conclusion:

  • Thank your audience for listening.
  • SMILE and convey CONFIDENCE.
  • Close with your name. This will ensure your audience remembers you.

A sample elevator pitch:
Hello I am [insert name]. I’m currently in transition seeking a Regional HR Manager position in an organization in the retail industry. With my vast knowledge in HR, as well as my experience in retail, I would bring a great balance to your organization and it’s staff. I understand the pressure that retail places on it’s managers and I would be able to recognize and connect with the managers of your organization because of my prior retail experience. In my previous position, I decreased Management turnover by 60% because of my ability to connect. My name is [insert name] and I look forward to having an opportunity to further discuss my qualifications. It was a pleasure meeting you.

This sample is to the point. It states who you are, what business you are in and that of which you are seeking. It states how you would benefit the employer and an example of how you have benefit an employer in that capacity. Finally the closing, using your name, and thanking the audience and ALL IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS!

The concept is the same even if you are not job hunting. Instead just state what you do for your organization, summarize your responsibilities and how you have benefit your current employer (accomplishments, accolades, etc.) This is a great tool for you especially when you are out networking and meeting new people in your industry.

So get your pen and paper (or note app or computer) ready and start putting together your elevator pitch. It may land you your next job or just make networking less awkward and more of a breeze.

One thought on “What would you say about yourself when all you have is 30 seconds?

  1. Pingback: General Interview Questions and Tips | VIRTUAL (HR) ADVISOR

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