CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 23, 2013
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Elevator Please!

An ‘elevator speech’ is an industry term used to describe a speech designed to make an impression on someone in under a minute. Job seekers today are faced with the problem of finding a job in a fast-paced business world – where ideas, thoughts and achievements must be sold within minutes otherwise they are shelved forever.

If you have a punchy ‘elevator speech’ ready to parrot off at any potential employer then you could be a bit closer to success. At career fairs and social events, people require you to make your pitch so quick it almost beggars belief. I mean it’s not possible for them to remember what you said, I reckon the main point is for you just to wow them and make an impact.

To create the perfect elevator speech, it is important to learn how to sell yourself in 30 seconds. The following are some tips on perfecting your elevator speech to land you your dream job:

Keep it brief

The average person only actively listens to people for around 10 to 15 seconds and then starts to gradually tune out. As such, you should try and get your main points across within those 15 seconds. Think of it like using bullet points. The rest of the speech should just be information which backs up those main points.

Keep it interesting

Well this is pretty self-explanatory really isn’t it? If you have a boring speech then people are going to tune out straight away. If you want to impress with your main points then you have to keep it interesting. Don’t include useless information, only the useful information which you think will interest the potential employer. Make sure that you speak to them in an engaging manner as the way that you talk to them can make all the difference. Try to strike a balance so that you are confident and clear without being intimidating.

Keep to the point

Rambling your thoughts aloud is NOT the way to proceed with your elevator speech. You aim is to market yourself effectively to prompt the listener to actively engage in conversation with you. Therefore it is imperative to talk about yourself, your achievements and how you make a difference, rather your ideas for the future and your aspirations. They want to know what you have done, not what you will do.

Keep practicing

Just as with many things in life, practice makes perfect. The only way that you are going to be able to achieve all of the other goals is by practicing over and over again. Time keeping will your biggest challenge here. Making sure that you know the speech well enough to rattle it off effectively in a minute or less will be quite a challenge, no matter who you are. It is like giving a presentation from memory except you have to do it in a minute; you have to practice it over and over again.

So the elevator speech is no doubt an effective tool which could help you in your job search. However, it is not easy to master and you need to put in quite a bit of planning and practice in order for it to be effective. It is also not necessary as the vast majority of people don’t even know what an elevator speech is. But don’t let this scare you off, just let it be another weapon in your arsenal to help you get the upper hand against other job seekers.  

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