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What’s an elevator pitch and why every millennial should have one

“What is an elevator pitch? Do I need one? How do I make one?” These are all questions that go through any ambitious millennial’s mind. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! An elevator pitch is an important tool that millennials can use to sell their experience, an idea, a project – anything. It could help you make a sale, get you hired, find funding or establish new professional contacts. Basically, a well-constructed elevator pitch can lead to new professional opportunities. As a young and aspiring professional, you need one to advance your current goals.


What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is essentially a concise and persuasive spoken summary of an idea and an explanation of its value. The idea could be a lot of different things – a service, a story idea, a process, an event, an organization or a person. The purpose of an elevator pitch is that you have this idea well-articulated and prepared for when you bump into a VIP who may be able to contribute to realizing this idea. If you’re working in politics, you would pitch your candidate. If you’re a journalist, you would pitch your story or services. If you’re an entrepreneur, you would pitch your business.



How can I create my elevator pitch?


Step 1: Think about your goal

Everyone is going to have a different objective for their elevator pitch. If you’re trying to make new professional contacts, your pitch will be a bit different than if you’re convincing someone to donate for a political candidate. Consider what you want to get out of this elevator pitch and use that as a guiding light in developing your speech.


Step 2: Explain what it is that you are offering

Know how you, your product or your organization is making something better, solving a problem or working towards a positive goal. It needs to be clear early on to the other person that what you’re saying has a value.


Step 3: Point out what makes your project unique

What you’re offering has likely been offered before. That’s why you have to explain what makes what you’re pitching unique. It should just be one sentence, but the unique value in what you’re doing should be very clear to the other person. Ex: I’m developing biodegradable, disposable silverware, but instead of throwing it away after you’re done – you can actually eat your utensils.


Step 4: Engage the other person

Get the person you’re speaking to involved in the conversation. Asking a question is the best way to do this. Ex: Is your organization interested in lowering your impact on the environment?


Step 5: Keep it snappy!

Once you join together the different elements of your pitch, cut out anything that isn’t necessary. The point of an elevator pitch is that you can get through it in the time you’re riding an elevator – 20-30 seconds.


Step 6: Practice makes perfect

Rehearse your pitch until it comes out of you in a natural and persuasive way. Don’t just memorize it. Practice it in front of the mirror, in front of your friends, in the shower. Get that pitch ready so that you’re always ready to pull it out when the occasion comes about.


what is an elevator pitch


When should I use my elevator pitch?

-In an elevator
-Networking events
-Any other place you’re rubbing elbows with potential professional contacts who can help you achieve your goals


Apply now to rub elbows with professionals and use your elevator pitch in London, New York, Hong Kong, Madrid, Australia or Latin America!



Photo 1. based on Cydcor Conference attendees, by Cydcor, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Elevator, by Steve Snodgrass, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on business-light, by openDemocracy, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!