The Elevator Pitch

elevator-pitchWithout exception everyone sucks at introducing themselves. Not sure why, except it feels weird at first. But once you practice it and get good at it, you’ll wonder how you got by all these years without being able to clearly articulate an answer to the most basic, simple question: “Tell me about yourself.”

Here’s how you do it. There’s a structure to it. Present. Past. Future.

Present

One sentence. Who you are. What you do.

For example. I am VP of Marketing at GoodFilms Studio where I oversee blah blah. I’m working now on this cool project/film/whatever (sound energetic and make it sound cool–and use an example).

Remember you’re telling a story so make it interesting.

Past

For example, prior to that I worked for a couple different studios including blank and blank where I worked on blank and blank.

Future

Always end with the ‘ask’ and be as specific as possible.

And now, I’m looking for a senior level marketing or publicity job at either a studio, production company or online company. I love working at GoodFilms but have been there almost four years and I’m ready for a new opportunity.

Practice this ’til you can rattle it off without hesitation and without losing eye contact. It’s your story. You should love it. No one else in the whole world has your story so be proud when you tell it. You are your own best ambassador.

The whole thing will be over in less than 30 seconds and you will come off with a renewed sense of confidence and composure that very few others will have. And a good intro is the first step to getting that next job.

by Madelyn Hammond

2 thoughts on “The Elevator Pitch

  1. Chris Westfall

    I like the easy structure of “Past Present Future”, but I wonder about the focus. I mean, when someone says, “Tell me a little bit about yourself” aren’t they really asking about what you can do for them? If the “elevator pitch” is a mythical ride in a hypothetical elevator, then by all means your story should be general and focused on yourself (because nothing really matters in a hypothetical situation!) But if you want your story to be compelling – in other words, more than just informational – you have to find a way to get your listener engaged. How would you suggest that you create engagement, in an elevator pitch?

    1. Madelyn Hammond

      You are exactly right in that you have to be compelling and engage your listener. So it is up to you to make your story as interesting as possible. The structure of Present, Past, Future is designed to help with that. All anyone cares about at first is who are you and how can you help me (as you stated), so right out of the gate, tell them that. Then go back a little to find some area(s) where your paths might have crossed. That engages the listener more than anything. And then (if its appropriate) you end w/ the ask…what you’re looking for.
      That way, the listener then offers to help w/ an intro or whatever.

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