Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Elevator Pitch – Going Up

by Randall Craig on December 5, 2006

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: ,

You’re in the elevator, or waiting in line at the coffee shop, and someone says to you “Aren’t we going to meet in just a few minutes? Tell me about yourself…” While you may not be ready to meet the person, the opportunity to make a positive impression is one that you do not want to miss. The term Elevator Pitch itself comes from the metaphor of the elevator: your “pitch” must be made before the elevator stops and the doors open.

But what makes a great elevator pitch great?

Most importantly, remember that the hiring manager or recruiter doesn’t really care about you: they only care about how you can solve their problems. With this in mind, describe yourself in a way that actually adds value to the listener: it can be one sentence, or five. Some guidelines:

  • The importance of research: if you don’t know the issues, then how will you know what is important to them?
  • The elevator pitch must be framed in terms that are benefits to the listener.
  • The pitch should contain some emotion or passion — but don’t over do it.
  • The pitch should never sound rehearsed – it must appear spontaneous and authentic.

This week’s action item: Write a 20 second elevator pitch for yourself, and record it. Does it pass the litmus test of being listener-focused, or is it exclusively about “me”? Look for an opportunity during the week to test-drive a customized version with a new contact. Each time you use say it will increase your comfort, and your confidence.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

Previous post:

Next post: