You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and a strong elevator pitch is critical for promoting yourself and setting the right tone in interviews and networking situations. An elevator pitch that makes you shine will help you maximize every professional introduction.
What to Include in an Elevator Pitch
You can take many approaches to crafting an elevator pitch, but every good pitch includes:
- Professional achievements: Have you received any awards or industry recognition? Did you head up a major project that people would be familiar with? Impressive achievements are good attention-grabbers.
- Your greatest strengths: Elevator pitches are all about the value you bring to your profession. So, what do you do better than anyone else? What are the key problems you solve?
- Your goal: Every time you make your pitch, you should talk about your goal. That goal will change based on your audience, but you should always include one. Think about the listener’s need and focus your message on that.
Mistakes to Avoid in an Elevator Pitch
When delivering an elevator pitch, you want it to be natural and you want your personality to shine through, but there are some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid:
- Excessive jargon: Not every person you meet will be a high-level engineer, and this includes some of the people you’ll interview with. Don’t assume they speak the jargon. Use language anyone can understand.
- Slang: You want to be personable, but you don’t want to be too casual. Avoid slang whenever possible.
- Memorization: You don’t want to memorize your pitch word for word and then deliver it robotically when you meet someone new. Practice the main points and get comfortable with those, so you can deliver
- Using a template: It’s tempting to Google, “elevator pitch templates,” and add your personal details into to a form pitch, but using a template is unwise. It won’t feel natural to you, and that will show through in your delivery.
Focus on Being Your Best Self
You should take time to craft a well-thought elevator pitch, but the most important advice for any professional engineer is to focus on being yourself. Yes, you want to communicate your value, but you also want people to see the real you and like you.
Practice delivering your pitch to friends, family, your pets, even your own mirror reflection so you build confidence and can deliver your pitch naturally. The more comfortable you are, the better your pitch will sound when you deliver it in a professional setting.