Have you been searching for an elevator pitch example, but only come up with dry, stuffy sounding templates that make you feel like a robot?
I hear you.
It’s because what can happen with templates is they end up being like Mad Libs. You just fill in the blank with whatever words you think of, and what comes out the other end might end up sounding more like gobbledygook than anything you’d want to say during a networking conversation to make yourself sound appealing.
It goes something like this:
Hi, I’m Bob and I am a teacher, but I am looking to transition into corporate training. I have done a lot of teaching at the local community college, and I know I could teach adults in a corporate setting. Do you know of any companies hiring for that role?
That’s not a very compelling elevator pitch example, is it?
Instead, there are several key elements of an elevator pitch that you need to make it draw people in and do the work you want it to do.
Think about your elevator pitch as the worm on the end of your fishing hook. You need to get people to bite and grab on to you so that you have them interested in you and what you have to offer. That’s the work your elevator pitch needs to do for you.
[Tweet “Your elevator pitch needs to be like a juicy worm on the end of a hook”]
If it’s a dried up worm, it won’t work. If it’s a worm that feels so inauthentic you can’t even bear to put it on the hook and say it, it’s not going to work for you. To catch the big fish, it has to be juicy, and you have to feel great about casting your line again and again.
Elevator Pitch Example: The Key Elements
Admit it: when you first start talking to someone and they start with something that feels boring, your brain zones out and you look over their shoulder to see who else you might talk to, right? Everyone has done it.
But you can’t afford to have your elevator pitch go that way, so when working on this elevator pitch example, we have to make sure to start with a hook – a juicy tidbit that will catch your listener’s ear.
You might be able to tell a story in one or two sentences, or give a few facts about yourself that are relevant. When you’ve fleshed out more of your elevator pitch example, you can come back to this element, as it will be clearer what hook will be relevant.
This next part will take some homework, and it’s interconnected with some of the other elements. The basic question here though is, “What problem are you trying to solve?”
It’s a trickier question than it seems though, because you can’t just solve any problem. You’ll want to solve a problem that people want and need solved (there’s a job/business market out there for it) and one that you are great at solving.
That means you’ve dug deep into yourself and defined your own skills, including your transferable skills, and that you’ve got the confidence to talk about using these skills. It’s also really helpful if you have stories (later on) to use to back up your abilities to use these skills, but these stories will be more supportive and can wait until after your elevator pitch. They don’t need to be part of the worm – unless one of your stories is your hook.
Here’s the part that most people miss: your mission. What good is a job, even a great job, if you don’t care about it? So you need to make sure that your mission – what you’re out in the world to do – is embedded right into what you’re telling everyone you can do.
It’s all about what you like, who you can help, the impact or legacy you want to leave behind, what value you want to add.
When you can articulate that, you’ll be able to create an elevator pitch that sounds like you, not one that feels so canned you can’t even get it out of your mouth.
What’s the purpose of this whole exercise for you? Are you looking for a new role? To meet people in a new industry? To gain credibility as an industry leader? To make a connection?
When people understand how they can help you, they are much more likely to do it.
You need to recognize when you are asking people to connect the dots, even if, for you, the connection seems perfectly obvious. You do need to blatantly ask for something if you want it. That does not mean you need to be rude. Be polite, but be to the point. No one has the attention span to spend on other people’s problems these days, which means they can’t guess at what you might need. They will be grateful for you being upfront.
Elevator Pitch Example: Putting It All Together
So where do you start when looking at these elements?
Start with your mission or skills, depending on your personal preference. Is it more important to you to utilize the skills you already have or do what’s important to you? Whatever your answer is, that’s where you start.
Hammer out your skills and mission, and then see how that applies to a real world problem.
Then, look at what your goal should be, given where you are with that.
Last, search for a tantalizing hook to draw people in to your story.
Here’s an elevator pitch example to guide you:
Let’s say that you are Bob, from above. Your mission is to help people be their best at work. You get really excited about helping people in the workplace and about teaching adult learners who will be interested in learning.
You also have teaching skills from your 20 years of teaching experience.
The real world problem might be that many corporate trainers don’t have a lot of real world teaching experience, especially training in specific types of teaching and learning skills. (I have no idea if this is a real problem or not.) You can use this as another skill that you have and a way that you can solve a specific problem.
Your goal is to make a career change into a different industry and to make connections with people who can help you make this change.
Your hook might be a funny story about teaching adult learners in a kids classroom where the chairs were all too small.
Let’s try it out!
I’m Bob, and I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years, but I love teaching adult learners – though I learned the hard way that teaching them in a kindergarten classroom just doesn’t work. You try fitting guys that are 6’2″ into those tiny chairs! Anyway, what I’ve learned is that many corporate trainers don’t have a lot of the specific teaching and learning skills that I have as a classroom teacher, and I’d love to bring that to a corporate setting where I could use it to help employees engage better at work. What I’m looking for is to meet people who can help me make the connections I need to find the type of role I’m looking for. Do you know anyone I should talk to about that?
Your Turn To Create An Amazing Elevator Pitch Example
You can create one, or several, elevator pitch examples based on this model. Just take the elements and fill in the blanks.
What do you think? Does this make it easier?
I’d love to hear your comments below!