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Hot Off the Press

Drown Out That Dreaded Music and Give ‘Em Your Elevator Pitch

Get ready for awkward. The doors open as you and several of your closest strangers file into one of the most socially strange experiences you’ll ever know. Welcome to the elevator, filled with deafening silence or elevator music of your favorite 80’s bands. Stop looking up, look your fellow passenger in the eye and break the silence the last Friday in July for National Talk in an Elevator Day. What a perfect time to brush up on your elevator pitch. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Be concise. An elevator pitch is when you give a description of your products or services in the amount of time it takes for an elevator ride, which typically means about 30 seconds and around 130 words. Remember that the elevator pitch doesn’t have to be confined to the elevator.

Adjust to the audience. Your pitch needs to be relevant to your audience. Be ready to adapt to the different needs of each person, and make sure you are giving them a personal benefit of listening to you and ultimately doing business with you. You can tell you’ve done it right if they ask a follow-up question.

Be prepared. Continually hone your elevator pitch and be prepared for any questions that you may be asked. Keep in mind the goal of each encounter when talking with someone, whether it is convincing them to do business with you or apply for a job with your company.

An elevator ride should no longer be looked at as an awkward time, but as an opportunity. Even if you aren’t pitching to someone, don’t be afraid to just say hello and brighten up someone’s day.

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