How to write an elevator speech

wiki.ehow.com is a pretty cool site. I first found it when I was looking for instructions on how to mince garlic. They’re one of the RSS feeds on my Google homepage now.

One of the latest is “How to Develop Your Personal Elevator Pitch“. They don’t explain what they mean by “elevator pitch”, but I’ve heard the term before (though I heard it called “elevator speech”). One of my former bosses had started three different companies, and was pretty good at getting investor money, so he was well-versed in elevator speaking.

The idea is, you’ve just gotten onto an elevator with someone, and they say, “So, what do you do?” Your time limit: you have until the elevator stops. You’re not giving your life story, you’re just trying to get their interest so you can have them remember you, and give them a business card. You seldom give an elevator speech in an actual elevator, but the name gives the flavor of it: it’s a speech for any situation (and they are legion) where you have a very limited time to get to the point and get the other person’s interest.

The eHow elevator-pitch article isn’t about elevator speeches in general (though it has some good tips). It’s specifically targeted to job interviews, and having a prepared answer to the interview question, “Tell me about yourself.” If you’re on a job search, this article is definitely worth a read.

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