Elevator pitch: the importance of knowing yourself

If you don’t know what an elevator pitch is, it’s pretty simple. It’s a short pitch about yourself that you should be able to tell someone in an elevator. And it should say enough about you for the person to remember you in a positive way.

Having this pitch ready is essential and will be useful when you go to a networking event or meet anyone who could potentially recommend or hire you. Here are the rules to master the elevator pitch:

Know your audience

Knowing who you are talking to will help you create a pitch that resonates within your interlocutor. When you go to a networking event, try to adapt your pitch according to the language of the professionals who will be there.

If you have a meeting planned with someone you want to impress, try to find out a little more about them: their hobby, a sport they like… Social medias will help you figure out if you have a mutual interest with the person you’re meeting.

Be concise

This pitch is a short presentation of yourself, so it shouldn’t last more than 45 seconds. To make sure you don’t exceed those 45 seconds, practice it. It will also help you get comfortable telling it so you’ll be able to speak clearly when the time comes.

Include a personal element

Find something personal to start your pitch: where you’re from, why you came to Canada, why you chose Vancouver… This little something might create a connection with the person who’s listening to you, and it’s an easy way for you to start talking.

Show your worth

Demonstrate what you could bring to a team or a company with a concrete example of one of your achievements, like: “I increased my previous company sales of 20%”. Find something specific that will impress your interlocutor.

Don’t be afraid to sound arrogant. North Americans love to hear about others achievements. If you can’t find anything you judge worth telling, show off your core values: “I love being part of something bigger than me” or “I love empowering people around me”.

Of course, to write and practice that elevator pitch, you have to do a little work on yourself. What are your strengths? Your main skills? What makes you different than the person sitting next to you? Those questions are all important and answering them will help you, not only for your elevator pitch but for your job search in general.

And don’t forget that you are telling a story: your story. The pitch elevator is your moment. Whoever is facing you will give you their full attention for 60 seconds: make them count.

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