Quick and concise introductions are the trend. Being able to sum up all your skills and features of your work in a way that catches the other person’s attention, is an art. One tool to make this art simpler is the elevator pitch, which makes your introduction simple, yet effective.

Elevator pitches are used by companies often to concisely communicate what they do, and how they do it. But with time, it got adapted to a personal pitch which speaks about an individual’s talents and capabilities. The name comes from the situation of riding an elevator from the top to bottom of a building which is roughly 30 seconds. That’s the time one would get to pitch the idea, or pitch himself.

It’s a useful thing to prepare as it also serves as an icebreaker to start the conversation. Be it on phone, in person or on email, you’ll be asked for a summary of yourself, your background and what you’re looking to gain from your next stint. If you have this ready, you can pitch yourself anywhere, be it an actual elevator, a shared cab ride or in a house party! It will help the other person understand what are your strengths and when they can contact you if they have any good opportunity. You never know, you may land up a job on a lazy sunday morning at the grocery store.

How To Prepare Your Elevator Pitch

Who are you? Start by telling something about yourself, and imagine you’re saying it to a person who you have approached to pitch yourself. Give your full name, a firm handshake with a smile. Add in a ‘It’s so nice to meet you!”, to make it pleasant. Pleasantries are supposed to be polite and help in starting a conversation.

What do you do? You need to briefly summarize your background which includes education, work experience and any specific accomplishment or specialty. It’s difficult to narrow down at the first instance itself, hence write your entire history down and break it down into phases. Then cut down things that are not integral to explain in your background in the first go. Check for the absolutely important highlights, because you need to emphasize on them. Once you’ve narrowed down, arrange the points chronologically and try to make it a bit interesting.

What are you looking for? This step is the why of your elevator pitch. Why are you pitching this to someone in first place? What do you want? It could be for a job opportunity, or to get contact information, to sell your product idea, to ask for a favor etc. This part will only talk about how you will add value or how the opposite party will benefit.

You’re ready with your elevator pitch! You need to fine-tune it with time. It’s very helpful and can be used in any professional situation.