How to Nail Your Elevator Pitch

 “So, what do you do?”

If this question makes you break out in a cold sweat, read on!

Today we are talking about Elevator Pitches

If you’ve ever gone to a networking event, you have most certainly seen an elevator pitch gone wrong.

Take Terse Tanya, for instance, who shuts down the conversation by not giving us enough information:

“Oh, I’m a lawyer.”


*Cue chirping crickets* 

Or, even worse, Garrulous Gary, who gives us his whole life story:

“I’m an intellectual property attorney, but I got my start in tax law. Actually, it’s a funny story… when I was in undergrad, I majored in economics, but then... ”

*Five minutes later, he’s still talking but you have fully checked out.*

Obviously, neither of these situations is ideal.

So how do you strike a balance?

How do you answer the question, “What do you do?” in a way that is both succinct and engaging?

First, we need to slow down and figure out what target we’re aiming for.

What is the purpose of an elevator pitch?

In its most basic form, an elevator pitch should tell us who you work with and what problem you solve for them.

This is why Tanya didn’t quite hit the mark with that “I’m a lawyer” response.

An effective elevator pitch should immediately let me know who in my network I should connect you with.

What kind of law does Tanya practice? I might have a friend who needs a recommendation for a great immigration lawyer. But this isn’t going to help Tanya if she specializes in maritime law.

Now let’s talk about the engaging side of the equation. How can we tell if we’ve hit that benchmark?

You know you’ve nailed this aspect of your pitch when you're met with one of these responses:

  •  “Ooh, that sounds interesting. Tell me more!”
  •  “Cool! How did you get into that?”
  •  “Oh amazing! Have you spoken with Jenny yet? She’d be a good connection for you.”

Remember, your elevator pitch is the start of a conversation.   

If the person you’re talking to indicates that they’d like to continue the conversation, it means you have adequately engaged them! (Yay!)

This is where Gary went wrong. By immediately launching into his whole CV, he effectively shut down the conversation.

So now that we know what we’re aiming for in a basic elevator pitch, let’s ask the harder question…

What are the ingredients of a memorable elevator pitch?

What are the ingredients of an elevator pitch that not only starts a conversation in that moment, but will also be remembered the next day?

That’s what we’ll be diving into on December 1st  at my upcoming workshop...

Perfect Your Pitch:

Make a Lasting Impression in 30 Seconds or Less

 (December 1st, 7pm-8pm EDT) 

In this virtual workshop, you will discover…

  •  5 hooks you can add to any pitch that will make your audience remember you the next day
  •  How to easily change up your pitch for different audiences. (Or just to keep it fresh!)
  •  3 simple physical adjustments that will make your delivery pop as much as your content

And folks, this is not a sit-and-watch kind of workshop...

You will walk away having written and workshopped multiple versions of your elevator pitch.

(For any BNI folks who might be reading this, I promise you will generate ideas for at least 2 months’ worth of commercials!)

<<Save Your Spot>>

2022 is rapidly approaching.

I want you to greet the New Year confidently.

And that all starts with a confident introduction. ;) 

Photograph of Sara Glancy on stairs
Headshot by Jessica Osber.

Sara Glancy is an NYC-based actor and public speaking coach and the founder of Speak Masterfully, a service that helps professionals take the stage with less fear and more fun! 

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