Students

Elevator Speeches

An elevator speech is a 30 second to 1 minute personal statement that provokes the person you are speaking with to want to learn more about you. It is a useful tool that you can use in any number of situations from networking events to voicemail messages to interview introductions.

Main Components:

  •  I am (personal introduction)
    • Name
    • Graduating with a _____ degree in ____ from _____
    • Looking for a position as a ____________
  • My interests are (relevant to the listener's needs)
    • In the field of ______________
    • Providing _____________ service
  • I know about your organization (I have done my research)
    • I've researched your company and learned ____
    • You produce _____________
    • You are a leader in ________
    • You need _______ in your company
  • My skills/accomplishments are (I can do what needs to be done)
    • I excel at ________
    • I can bring _________
    • My previous supervisors have said I ______
    • I produced _______
    • I can deliver _________
    • In my last position I accomplished _______
  •  I would like an interview/meeting/referral (I feel confident you will benefit from the meeting)
    • You must make a request at the end of your speech
    • e.g. Do you mind if I connect with you on LinkedIn? Email you?
    • Don't ask for a position or about benefits
    • You want to discuss further:
      • your skills
      • the company
      • a project
      • obtain career advice
      • a referral

An example of an Elevator Speech:

"Hi, I'm Mary Smith. I'll be graduating from USF in May with a bachelors degree in marketing and I have a real passion for the environment. I love creating outside-the-box marketing strategies for new products, especially environmentally-sensitive ones.

I understand that your company has produced some new green products that aren't on the market yet. Last semester, while interning for a local firm I created an aggressive marketing campaign for a new product, which improved their sales.
I'd love to talk to you about how I might be able to use the skills I've learned to help your company. Are you available for a brief meeting on Monday or Tuesday?"

Do:

  • Rewrite your speech in order to sharpen its focus.
  • Make it sincere and provide a glimpse into your personality.
  • Speak confidently and enthusiastically.
  • Practice your speech until you're comfortable with it from beginning to end.
  • Maintain eye contact with your listener.
  • Prepare different versions for different situations.

Don't

  • Use more words than necessary.
  • Include industry jargon or acronyms.
  • Rush breathlessly through it.
  • Make a "canned" presentation.