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Tell me about yourself

If you are looking for a job, and you get in an interview the first question you will get is, Tell me about yourself, and it's incredible how many candidates are not prepared to answer this question. The same happens if you are an employee, and someone asks what is your role in the company, what if that someone is your next opportunity for a promotion, or if you are a business owner and someone asks, what is it that your company does? the answer to this question can get you new clients or defer from buying your products or services.

The one tool you need to consider is the elevator pitch, this is a tool everyone should use, no matter what they do, here are a few tips on how to create a good elevator pitch.

First of all, what is an elevator pitch?

In short, an elevator pitch is a very short summary of a person, a company, or a product/idea. It is presented in a brief period of time, but it’s interesting enough to get the listener’s attention and interest.

An elevator pitch is a 30- or 60 story that presents you in your best light and highlights your positive points, its name comes from the idea of pitching something effectively during an elevator ride.

When creating an elevator pitch, you are selling yourself to whoever the audience is at that moment, so you can change the points you select to summarize only your most relevant accomplishments.

When to use an elevator pitch

You can use your elevator pitch in various scenarios. One obvious reason to use it is when you introduce yourself to someone in the same profession, in the hope of landing a new position, in a job interview or when introducing yourself to a colleague after starting a new job.

Lastly, you may find it beneficial to use your elevator pitch to expand your network of contacts when attending conferences, workshops, or seminars. You never know where a connection may lead in the future.

Structure of an elevator pitch

There are only a few elements to an elevator pitch

  1. Self- introduction.

  2. Clearly describe what you do

  3. Your skills (or accomplishments), focus on your strengths, what makes you unique.

  4. How do you do it?

If you can focus on these areas and keep it brief, you’re surely on the right track to delivering an elevator pitch. Now, you just need to know how to create a compelling elevator pitch.

How to create a compelling elevator pitch

There are two parts to an effective pitch — the content and the delivery. Both contain key aspects you need to be aware of to get maximum results.

  1. Content

The content needs to be brief. So, if you have a long history of accomplishments or have developed numerous skills over the years, you will need to scale things back. It’s crucial to make the content concise. Keep in mind that you can have more than one elevator pitch for different situations or people you might encounter. For example, if you have skills and experience in marketing and management, use the ones most applicable to the person in front of you, or you could use a small part of your material from each category.

On the other hand, if you don’t have much (or any) experience, you may need to pull from your education, internships, side jobs, or other areas to compellingly present your pitch.

We suggest you proofread several times to omit grammatical errors, complicated words, and any local jargon that may confuse the interviewer.

  1. Delivery

Your pitch delivery involves a verbal presentation. Remember to be brief, positive, and enthusiastic. This is your time to grab the listener’s attention and impress them with what you have to offer. It’s OK to brag a little, but be careful not to annoy the other person. Keep a friendly, confident demeanor – don’t stare at the ground or frown when pitching yourself.

Maintain your posture, make eye contact, and speak with conviction.

Tips for delivering an elevator pitch

You’ll want your pitch to hit the mark, so put forth your best effort. The following tips will help you in that respect:

  • Practice in advance. Take time to practice what you’re going to say in front of the mirror. Even if it feels awkward, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing right and what you might need to improve.

  • Talk about your abilities. Let the listener know what you can do. Even if you haven’t worked in a paid job doing a particular task, you can elaborate on the skills you have.

  • Don’t waste your time on unimportant things. There is only so much time you can spend on your elevator pitch. That means every word counts. Don’t waste any of it on things the person you’re talking to might perceive as negative or irrelevant.

  • Target the pitch to the audience. Every person you use an elevator pitch on is different and might offer a slightly different opportunity. Be sure your pitch reflects that.

Keep it short and sweet. Only talk for a maximum of 60 seconds. If you can say everything you need to in 30 seconds or less, that’s better yet. A sure way to lose the listener is by talking too much.

  • Talk slowly and clearly. Even though you want to be brief, you don’t want to talk so fast that you sound nervous, or the person can’t understand all that you’re saying. Slow down and relax.

  • Be positive. Don’t say anything negative about yourself or anyone else. Keep everything upbeat. Also, keep a pleasant look on your face.

Elevator Pitch Examples

So, what do you do?” or “tell me about yourself?”

“Hi, my name is Mark. Thanks so much for sitting down with me today. After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I’ve spent the last three years building professional experience as an Executive Assistant. I’ve successfully managed end-to-end event coordination and have generated a strong professional network for my colleagues. I was excited to learn about this opportunity in the sports management space—I’ve always been passionate about the way sports bring cultures together and would love the opportunity to bring my project management and leadership abilities to this position.”

"I am John. I am a financial accountant. I recently finished my master's degree in financial accounting, after my undergraduate degree in financial accounting. I have gained a few months of experience during my studies as an undergraduate, but I am now looking to gain more experience in my career that is why I am looking to get a job in an organization that

will help me develop and grow my career like this company."

I’m Sam. I am a web developer, specializing in responsive web development. Bringing imagination into reality and solving problems were two things that inspired me to build a career in web development.

Learning and understanding UI was an opportunity for me to add value to anyone that will eventually use or visit the website that I create.

I have worked for a few years as a web developer for small companies, but in my previous job, I have to develop software due to the expansion of the company and client requests. To open myself up to other possibilities I decided to work part-time so that I can have time for personal projects.

Carrying out personal projects and working with other companies has made me a full-stack developer. I am now looking forward to consultancy positions considering my experience and expertise which is why I am applying for this position.”

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