How to create an elevator speech for yourself

If I asked you if you thought first impressions mattered, I’d imagine you would say “yes.” So if I asked you if you had an elevator speech, would you say “yes” to that one as well?

If you’ve never heard of an elevator speech, it’s a short introduction and an overview that you can recite about yourself or your business, explaining what you do and what you stand for. And you have to say it in the very short amount of time it takes to get into an elevator and ride a few floors with some strangers.

Of course, these days people are usually glued to their phones while in elevators and not making conversation, but the principle stands true. We all need some brief and concise messaging that we can carry around with us in our back-pocket at all times. It’s just a smart thing to be equipped with. You never know who you’ll meet when you head out of your home each day.

How to create an elevator speech for yourself via A Lady Goes West blogThat’s just a picture of me with some food. Because I’m always smiling when I’m talking about food.

I first learned about elevator speeches (or elevator pitches, as they are also called) back in my days of working at a public relations agency. While my current job, day-to-day responsibilities, state-of-residence, work attire and so much more have changed since that particular role, I still like to have my own elevator speech ready so I can always try to make a good first impression. 

Why should you have an elevator speech

Elevator speeches don’t just apply to the business setting — they are useful for everyone in many different situations. In fact, it’s the whole process and exercise of coming up with and writing it that makes you think about how you like to present yourself. Whether that’s to potential significant others, future friends, students, peers, coworkers, you name it. Having your thoughts boiled down is a great way to make a lasting first impression, which can help you in your professional, as well as your personal life.

The contents of an effective elevator speech

Your elevator speech should be unique to you. Grab a blank piece of paper (or blank Word document) and start writing out some of the following elements …

  1. Your name
  2. Your mission (which can also be your job title or job objective)
  3. Your unique selling point (what sets you apart from others)
  4. Your goals
  5. A call-to-action (what you want people to do after meeting you)

From there, you can highlight the important points and make it sound conversational.

You should be able to say all of this in maybe less than 100 words, or less than 30 seconds. And you don’t want to just ramble off facts, you want to infuse some excitement and narrative into your story as well. Be memorable and leave people wanting more.

An example of an elevator speech

Hi, I’m Susie Suserson, and I’m an entrepreneur who loves to show people how to make their lives better by being environmentally friendly, because I improved my own health through small changes I made several years ago. I own Susie’s Greenshop, and my team works with Bay Area families to clean up their homes and lives with alternative methods. We set ourselves apart by truly connecting with our customers through one-on-one visits, ongoing communication, and we have an arsenal of happy-customer testimonials to pull from, including my own. We’d love to come by your place for a complimentary consultation. 

So you see … Susie explained who she was, what she was passionate about, got her business name in there and ended with a call-to-action. While her pitch (if Susie was a real person, of course) was a little bit more sales-like, it still gives you an idea of what I’m talking about.

Here’s an example of something I could use as my elevator speech ….

Hi, I’m Ashley Pitt. I love to help people get healthy, while sharing my passion of fitness and fun, both online and in person. I write the blog, A Lady Goes West, about my adventures in fitness, food and fun, and I’m also a group fitness instructor and personal trainer in the Bay Area. Many years ago, group fitness changed my life, and it’s my mission to continue motivating others to find enjoyment in some form of exercise, while living a good and balanced life. I’d love to stay in touch with you, so check out my blog to follow along with my tips and stories that may be of interest to you.

Did I hit the person listening with the hard sell? Not really, just told them what I do and let them know how they could find me if they were interested. Easy, peasy. 

Overall, an elevator speech can be called a lot of names and include various information, but it boils down to the fact, that we should all take a minute to think about who we are, what we represent and have that little pitch on-the-ready in case we need to use it. Especially in an elevator with strangers!

And that concludes my thoughts on this one, friends! I hope you’ll join me back here tomorrow for a very special “Friday Favorites.” Have a wonderful day!

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Questions of the day

What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about you?

What’s a question that you typically ask someone when you first meet them?

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25 Comments

  1. I normally ask people where they are from when I first meet them. I’ve found this can usually be a great conversation piece because 9 times out of 10 I will have some sort of connection to a place and can start a conversation based on that.

  2. Enjoy your vacation!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it! I usually ask people where they grew up…that’s usually a good conversation starter!

  3. I always ask people where they’re from. I find it interesting to see regional demographics, especially in the health care setting. Great tips – I always find introducing/talking about myself to be quite difficult! And have so much fun in Hawaii!!!

  4. These are also great tips for the “tell us about yourself” question which typically interviewers will open up with in a job interview. When I meet people, I typically ask them what they do, but it’s true that people are so much more interesting than their jobs! This is a great way to steer the conversation in the direction of your passions, and I think everyone looks and sounds their best when talking about what they truly love.

  5. Ashley – Great tips! This is something I really need to think about. It’s tough right now, because I work full-time as a digital communications manager for a local children’s hospital and I’m also blogging on the side (which I want to be my full-time job in the future). I feel like I’m in limbo mode! But, this post reminded me that I need to introduce myself in a way I want to be known and that’s as a healthy living advocate for others. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Carly! Yes, you are certainly a healthy living advocate, no matter what your full-time day job is, so you should lead with that! Keep up the awesome work, busy lady! πŸ™‚

  6. These are great tips! I have never really thought about creating one for myself, but I know what you mean when you say you never know who you’re going to run into. I usually ask people where they are originally from or where they went to college to start a conversation because you can usually make some sort of a connection. And I cannot wait to hear about your trip!

  7. Thanks so much for these tips! This’ll definitely come in handy on my audition rotations and my upcoming interviews! <3

    Hope you have fun in Hawai'i! :D!

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