Recently, I used my Human Resource experience to help some local college students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to construct their own elevator pitches.  It was a lot of fun and such a great group of students to work with!

An elevator pitch is basically “you” in 30 seconds.  It’s how you brand yourself to others.  Maybe you are branding yourself to a potential employer, mentor or a company with an internship you’d like.  And often, you only have a short time, like a ride on an elevator (ergo, the clever name), for it to pay off.

Even if you aren’t looking for a job or internship, it can be useful to be able to brand yourself.  Think, networking.  So, here are a few tips I shared with the students that apply no matter the reason:

  • Like a pick up line in a bar, you must make them interested enough to want to get to know you better. Being cheesy, negative, or sounding more conceited than confident, makes others cringe not share their digits with you.
  • Like any presentation, you must know your audience. Customize your standard pitch for whoever the audience is, what you want from them and what you can do for them.
  • Say it like you mean it. You should memorize what you want to say and practice it so much that you come across naturally, not scripted or like a second rate salesman.
  • Like Dorothy, you must believe. If you don’t believe in you, neither will they. Be confident in your tone, with your handshake and by using good eye contact.  You are the expert about you, after all!
  • Like a mirror, be yourself! No, not the crazy hung over self from last weekend, but if you try to be someone else entirely, you will fail anyway.  So be genuine and let YOU shine through.

What advice do you have for making a perfect pitch?


Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.

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