If you’re a jobseeker or entrepreneur, you’ve heard of the elevator pitch, that sixty second script about yourself and your work that you’re supposed to have burned into your subconscious, ready to whip out at any time in case you share an elevator with Bill Gates on some distant, blessed day.
I think Gates has heard so many elevator pitches by now that he simply hires a flight of angels to lift him to whichever floor he wants to reach.
In any case, while the whole elevator pitch concept has been done to death, it is absolutely true that when you’re explaining who you are and what you do, you must be able to do it without screwing up. Yes, it really helps to rehearse.
Particularly for the temporarily unemployed, elevator pitches function like affirmations, reminding you of who you are and that you are a professional who is skilled and accomplished. Add your elevator pitch to your affirmation list and say it daily until it’s a part of you.
If you find sixty seconds a lot of airtime to fill (and quite frankly, most people nowadays will interrupt you by second forty or so!) try this spiffy little 15-second pitch wizard. It’ll get you started and you can always personalize and tweak later. If you love what it does, you can even use the site to swap pitches with other users and order pitch cards.
Remember: no MORE than sixty seconds. Anything longer than that isn’t a pitch; it’s a speech.