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Perfecting your Elevator Speech

Lauren Blackwell


By Bianca Libbon


Picture this: you are on your way to see a PR icon of yours give a lecture series on campus about making it into the industry when you step into an elevator. As the doors of the elevator widen, so do your eyes, for you find yourself staring directly at the media mogul whose lecture you were about to attend. So, what do you do? Do you back up and wait for another elevator to come as the doors of the open one right in front of you awkwardly close? Do you walk in and (also awkwardly) begin gawking at the perfect human in front of you until he or she nearly suffocates in the 5x5 cubed space? Do you walk towards the furthest corner of the elevator, put your head down and say absolutely nothing? Goodness gracious, the answer to each of those questions is NO!


This example is a little extreme but in any case, if you find yourself in a position wherein your personal life, or more importantly, your career could potentially benefit from being such a situation... take advantage of it!!


The easiest way to go into a situation wherein the outcome of a 30 second interaction may greatly benefit your career is to have a previously developed and perfected elevator speech. To create your own stellar elevator speech, follow these steps:


Solidify your Intro

Remember, you have a maximum of 30 seconds to impress the person that you're in the elevator with, so make it short and sweet – but don't forget to introduce yourself! To do so, simply state your full name, and be precise in what you are looking for/seeking by introducing yourself. Are you looking for a job in public relations? Seeking an internship at a social media management firm? Just say so!

Example: Hi, my name is Bianca Libbon and I am currently looking for a job in public relations.  


State your Three Quantifiables

What experience do you have that makes you worthy of getting what you want out of the conversation? You should give the person exactly three relevant facts about yourself that have to do with what you are asking for in your elevator speech. These facts should not necessarily be that you are a good communicator or work well in group settings, but proof of these positive traits through concrete experiences that you've had in the industry. Have you worked in a position of management for a similar company? Say that. Are you a recent graduate? Let them know! You need to provide definitive evidence of your relevant experience that the person could find proof of with a phone call to a past employer, etc.

Example: I earned my bachelors degree in communications at the University of Nevada, Reno and during my undergrad I worked as an account associate for a PR firm on campus. I was also the social media manager for a now highly successful bookstore in Reno called Textbook Brokers.


Call to Action

Your should always end your elevator speech with a call to action, or a question that requests something of the person that you're speaking to. Do you want some general information on the company that this person works for? Would you like to set up an informational interview, or in the case of the primary example here, would the he/she mind answering some of your questions regarding their lecture topic in private after the lecture is over? Your call to action should be more specific than what you stated was your overall purpose within your intro, and should make the person have to act in some way to provide you with what you want.

Example: Who do I speak to in regards to an opening at your firm?


Take all of these tips, put it all together and ta-da! You've got yourself a wonderfully crafted elevator speech that is bound to impress any potential employer that you meet in an elevator!