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6 tips to create an effective executive elevator pitch

Looking for a new leadership position? Now it's time to create an executive elevator pitch that summarizes who you are, what you do, and why you are best suited for that role. Basically, you present yourself to the recruitment manager, demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for that role, and give results that prove it.

It can be difficult to complete that brief introduction about yourself. If it is too long, there is a risk of losing the recruiter’s interest, but if it is too short, your talent won’t shine.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech you use to introduce yourself, a product, or a company. Its purpose is to explain the concept quickly and clearly to pique an interest in who you are and what you are doing. Your pitch should be no longer than 30 seconds. It's long enough to convey a message anytime, anywhere, even when you're in a fast elevator ride (hence the name).

Elevator pitches have been around for almost as long as elevators, but remain a necessary step in an executive arsenal looking for a next role or career change (although for those looking for a leadership position as well). Whether you like or hate the phrase itself, look at it as a concise phrase that summarizes your experience and its value to your audience.

Why is an elevator pitch important?

Your pitch should be engaging and memorable, but most importantly, it should highlight what makes you unique. If you're looking for leadership positions, chances are you'll be up against the best of the best. With a powerful elevator pitch you can introduce yourself and deliver your value proposition.

How to write an elevator pitch?

1. Less than 30 seconds pitch

As an executive, your elevator pitch should be about 30 seconds or less and total 45-70 words. Longer and you risk losing your audience's attention; shorter and you risk missing important information. Remember that reciting your elevator pitch is the same amount of time as you're going to be in an elevator with someone. If you happen to meet someone in an elevator that you would like to meet, your pitch should contain the essential information on how you would introduce yourself, make your point, and ask the person to stay connected before you step out of the elevator!

2. Describe yourself briefly

Write a short list of how you would describe yourself. Try to create a tailored list, appropriate to the recruiter you expect to be addressing. For example, in an executive job interview, you might not include things like your passion for baking or the fact that you have five younger siblings. Instead, focus on things like what makes you a great leader, the activities you participate in, and so on. However, if another detail seems relevant and successful, you can start with that. This introduction sentence is the actual answer to the question "Who are you?"

3. Explain what you do

Summarize your background in two very impactful sentences. Of course, as a senior-executive, the more experience you have, the harder it will be. Start by writing down everything that comes to mind – education, work experience, outstanding achievements – and then ask yourself, «What skills and experiences determine my professional focus? How can I make a connection with the hiring manager that will help him understand what my career goals and priorities are?» In the end your two sentences should clearly answer the question « What do I want the recruiter to remember about me? »

4. Add a call to action

In the next few sentences, define what you want the recruiter to do. Be specific about what you want to do next. Your goal is to engage your interlocutor. Therefore, end your pitch with a clear call to action. What do you want from the other person? You don't have to limit yourself to the interview. Why not ask to keep in touch on LinkedIn, or plan a next call/meeting? Your pitch must have a strong ending! However, don’t forget that this is your first point of contact with the recruiter/potential employer, so don't overdo it. Anticipate the next step instead of demanding it.

5. Ask for feedback

The best way to identify issues or mistakes in your elevator pitch is to get feedback from trusted contacts. Ask them to criticize not only what you say, but also your facial expressions and body language. Share your executive pitch with friends, family, and trusted members of your network, as they can tell you if your delivered pitch is clear and concise. Sometimes, writing about your accomplishments can feel unnatural, so if you are too modest, your network will be able to notice it. The best practice is to recite your elevator pitch in person so that your friends can hear, see, and feel it in action. If your 30-seconds presentation doesn't convince them, then you should go back to the thinking and writing phase to make the appropriate adjustments to perfect your presentation.

6. Practice, practice, and practice again

It's important to rehearse the final version of your pitch until you can confidently deliver it without hesitation. You can practice in front of a mirror to be able to check your facial expressions and movements. This will help build your confidence when delivering your pitch. When speaking to the hiring manager, make sure to maintain direct eye contact at all times with him, demonstrating your sincerity and passion. The goal is to convey that you are an excellent communicator. Concerning your voice, a great way to practice the pitch is to repeat it, record yourself reciting your pitch to see how loud you sound, and play it back. If you lack the required professionalism or have trouble convincing yourself, practice until you are satisfied. You need to repeat until your elevator pitch sounds as natural as saying your name. Recording yourself is necessary! It will give you an idea of ​​the timing. This is important as the pitch needs to be short or you won't have time to get to the end, and so convince the recruiter. It will also help you adapt your tone. Indeed, you want your voice to be confident but conversational, and sound natural rather than commercial.

These 6 tips will help you for sure build your elevator pitch. Don’t neglect this part in your interview preparation. The pitch will help you stand out from others.

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