Elevator Speech Examples To Get You In The Door

Elevator speech examples

An elevator speech is a brief pitch you offer to introduce yourself with the goal of setting up a meeting or call to discuss your qualifications or idea. You should have a general version, but you can modify what you say for different situations.

Anyone who’s ever had a job interview, been to a networking event, or just had a minute or less to make a good first impression and get someone’s attention has probably used an elevator speech. Or at least should have.

What Is An Elevator Speech?

Elevator speeches are a quick (30-60 seconds) way to introduce yourself or your services to someone. They’re a vital networking tool and should include information that grabs the interest of the person you’re speaking to.

These brief speeches are used in every industry and in many different situations. A good elevator pitch will not only explain who you are but also identify your understanding of a pain point for the person you’re speaking to and offer a glimpse of the solution you can provide. And should be done in the amount of time an elevator ride typically takes.

Elevator speech examples to get get you a meeting

What Is Its Purpose?

In addition to being a good conversation starter, elevator speeches answer the question, “What do you do?” or as a response when asked to, “Tell me about yourself.”

When done well, they quickly identify you to your audience as someone they should get to know better. When the select details you provide during this speech are relevant to your conversation partner, an elevator speech can earn you the right to additional time to sell yourself or the products or services you represent.

Basic Points in An Elevator Speech

While each elevator pitch will vary depending on the person and circumstances, all well-crafted speeches include the same basic points.

  • Who you are and what you do.
  • Identify and empathize with a problem personal to your audience.
  • Provide a value proposition and potential solution to the problem.
  • Call to action (goal)

It seems deceptively easy, but an effective elevator pitch can take some work to write.

Presenting the most relevant and interesting points and creating a connection with your audience takes preparation and practice. Often people make the mistake of including way too much information and rambling on and on.

Or they forget the unspoken communication elements like,

  • Eye-contact
  • Smiling
  • Open and engaging body language

Note: Not all elevator speeches are delivered in person. If you are speaking on the phone, tone, cadence, and a natural, conversational approach is crucial. When you’re not face-to-face, you must rely on these elements to demonstrate confidence and keep your audience’s attention.

A great deal is conveyed without ever speaking.

Why You Should Have An Elevator Speech Ready With Variations

Elevator speeches aren’t one-size-fits-all. They can and should change according to:

  • The person with whom you’re speaking and their position (Example: recruiter or CEO of a startup)
  • The circumstances of the conversation (Example: a career fair or networking event for small businesses)
  • The goal of the pitch (Example: donation for a nonprofit or follow-up appointment)

As each one of those elements changes, so should your elevator pitch.

This means that over time you may need to create several different elevator speeches or, at minimum, ensure your primary speech is highly adaptable.

For instance, you wouldn’t use the same elevator speech when speaking to a hiring manager about a job as you would when describing your services and unique selling proposition to someone in project management. It wouldn’t make sense.

So, having a general elevator speech practiced and at the ready is great, but it’s also important to have variations and be prepared to adapt when necessary.

Elevator Speech Examples For Different Uses

Although each variation of an elevator speech will contain the same essential elements, the arrangement and presentation can be very different depending upon the circumstances.

Below are some elevator speeches that are useful in different situations.


A general elevator speech can introduce you in person and also act as a digital business card on social media platforms like Linkedin. It can act as a sales pitch and bio all in one.

“I’m Jane Doe, a sales professional with XYZ Solar Panels. With energy prices skyrocketing, most households and small to medium-sized businesses are finding the cost of keeping the lights on is eating into their bottom line. I specialize in reducing those costs and putting money back in your pocket. My contact information is below. Please reach out for additional information.”

Elevaro speech examples - general
Image by Freepik

Job Interview

If you’re a job seeker, your elevator speech will want to highlight the information about you that makes you a good candidate for the company and position in question.

Often the initial interview question asked is, “Can you tell me about yourself?” Your elevator speech should be your go-to response.

“I recently earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology. I’ve been employed by the University’s genetic lab for the last year. This work experience has given me a solid understanding of lab protocol. I find the research being done at XYZ Bio fascinating. Given that you’re expanding your team, I feel I could greatly contribute to your upcoming projects.” 

Seeking A Contact

Sometimes your elevator speech is specifically for networking purposes or gaining referrals. Making contact with the right person in an organization often requires the help of others. So, your elevator speech will be designed to enlist their assistance.

“Hi Gina, I’m Jane Doe from XYZ Solar Panels. Your neighbor, ABC Widgets, sought our help to reduce their energy bills. Do you have any idea how much he was spending? Ridiculous! We cut his cost by 30%, and he suggested you all might be in the same boat. Would you mind pointing me to the right person to speak with regarding this?”

Elevator speech example - networking

Seeking A Mentor

Students looking for internships or professional mentors may also use elevator speeches. These people can be instrumental in gaining experience and creating future contacts who may know of job opportunities. For this reason, it’s wise to have a personal elevator speech, even if you’re primary focus is school.

I’m Lisa Doe, and I’m an undergraduate in biology. I understand the importance of my academic work, but I am also interested in gaining some practical experience and learning from someone who’s excelled in the field. I aim to work on a research team and eventually run my lab. I’ve followed your work in the area and would like to learn more about your work. Would you consider adding me to your team?

Seeking A New Job

There a many reasons why a person may want to leave their current position or company for a new one. Most new jobs aren’t found at job fairs but by networking and creating contacts. Many jobs are never advertised because the right people are found through networking. When the right opportunity presents itself, you need to be prepared with the perfect elevator pitch.

“Hi Rob, I’m your rep from XYZ Solar Panels. I love what you and you’re team are doing here. I see you’re expanding your services and looking to add new reps. My years of experience in this sector have given me a deep understanding of the hurdles you’ll face and what it takes to be successful. I want to discuss how my professional experience applies to your needs and see if we might be a good match.

How Can You Tailor Your Speech For Different Opportunities

Tailoring your elevator speech isn’t difficult if you understand the basics. The most important aspects are,

  • Making it relevant
  • Connecting your value to their need
  • Being able to deliver your speech in less time than it takes to ride an elevator

Research is critical if you’re tailoring your speech for something new to you. You’ll need to understand what issues or pain points exist so that you can create a value proposition.

It’s also good to know the appropriate buzzwords. These are words that are important within the industry and demonstrate your knowledge. They aren’t jargon or an alphabet soup of acronyms.

Lorin Harrott

After years as a professional speaker and corporate trainer,Lorin Harrott has turned her attention to sharing her knowledge through writing. She's currently a writer, photographer, and mom in Sacramento, CA, with occasional speaking engagements related to education and STEM topics in the public school system.

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