When I look back on my work experience and job interviews so far, I can without a doubt single out a few questions that I have always considered almost impossible to answer. Or at least, answer them concisely. Those questions are: “Can you tell me something about yourself?”, “What do you do?”, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. I would often start answering them with “Well, it’s complicated..” or “It’s a long story…”, not realising that I was the one making it sound more complicated than it was.
It was only recently that I learned about the elevator pitch. I see it as the art of presenting yourself in the best possible light in less than a minute. At first, it seemed next to impossible for me to ever accomplish creating and delivering my elevator pitch. But then I decided to look into it a bit more and research how it’s done properly.
I’m still far from having the perfect pitch, but I would like to share my learning journey and then create my own.
The four questions
Once I understood what an elevator pitch is, I started researching how it’s done correctly and what steps I needed to take in order to create it.
I found that the best elevator pitch answers four crucial questions:
- What is your product?
- Why are you selling this?
- How do you create value?
- Who is your target customer?
I am a writer. My content is the product I’m creating. But, when it’s put like that, it sounds very mundane and boring. I want it to stand out. I want my elevator pitch to catch the attention of my listener as soon as I start speaking. Saying something most people can say did not spark any interest for me.
So, I changed it slightly. I decided to go with: I am a writer. I write content that changes people’s lives.
Now, this was different. It was concise enough but still said a lot and in such a way to immediately intrigue the person I’m talking to, so they want to hear more.
The next question for me was, “Why?”. Why am I doing this? Well, over the course of many, many years I have spent reading books, I realised that I am particularly drawn to the books that talk about someone’s experience – good or bad – and how they overcame that situation. I love considering situations from a different point of view and then wondering what I would do in their place and what that book taught me. So, I want the same for my writing – I want people to learn something, experience my point of view, or simply relate to an extent where they realise they are not alone. If my writing ever makes even the tenth of that impact, I will be beyond grateful and fulfilled.
This leads me to my next answer. The question is, “How do you create value?” and my answer would be through reaching as many people as possible and making them wonder, learn, and be curious about different things around them. My value is seen and measured through the people that read my content. If my work leaves a positive trail in someone else’s life, I know that I’m doing the right thing.
Finally, the last question is about my audience. Who am I addressing? Of course, it depends on the content I’m creating, but one general answer would be: anyone who needs help and can relate to my story.
It is constantly changing, depending on many factors, but for now, my elevator pitch looks like this:
I am a writer. I write books that change people’s lives. I want to share my experience and knowledge, hoping it could help others. I’d like to reach as many people as possible and inspire them to think like an entrepreneur and see the opportunity in every situation. My target audience is anyone struggling to move forward or consider things from another perspective.
It’s all about the details
Once I completed my pitch, I knew it would take time and practice to make it perfect. I would slightly change it in different situations, depending on who I’m talking to or what I’m trying to achieve.
Also, the perfect elevator pitch is much more than just words. Of course, I know that the words I use will be the main means to convey my message, but I want to choose them carefully and thoughtfully. Words can be a powerful tool, and I want to use them to their full potential to present what I do.
I also learned that non-verbal communication is crucial, combined with our speech. This communication involves the facial expressions we make when we talk, our posture and body language, the emotions we radiate, and our general style.
It is said that the first impression is so important because it is rarely changed. I have read once that we often form a clear image of the person we talk to and assume so many things without even being aware of that. Then, that image stays instilled in our brains, and we attach it to that person from then on.
So, it’s important for me to keep practising my pitch in various situations because you never know when you might have a chance to use it.
Writing has been my dream job for as long as I can remember. I see it as such a huge part of my life, and I love everything about it. That’s why it can be challenging to explain such a dream in a few sentences. But, as one of my favourite books says, “Delete the adjectives, and you will have the facts”, it really is about being concise yet informative. I often think of it this way – what would I like to hear if someone else tried to explain something they are passionate about? And then I let it guide me. For me, the most difficult part was making my pitch stand out and explaining why it’s different from just any other written content out there.
And if I follow my own thinking, what I would like to hear, or what I would remember from such an encounter, I would say that the emotions a person gives off when they talk about something they are truly passionate about can never lie. It’s easy to tell when they are genuine, and it’s also impossible to forget the pitch based on passion.
So, whatever it is, be passionate about it, and you will stand out.
Have you created your own elevator pitch? If you would like to learn more about it, there is a blog on our website where you can find further information: