The Perfect Elevator Speech

Elevator speeches. For many college students, this has no meaning, and often sounds silly. But all job seekers know that a good elevator speech, or a 30 second or less introduction of yourself as a professional, is crucial to networking and meeting new people. This is not a lot of time, so a well-prepared elevator speech can impress a potential contact in a way that can create a lasting impression. Your elevator speech needs to be succinct and gets right to why someone should connect with you.


Your elevator speech should answer the questions: 

1. What do I do?

2. Who is my target audience? What do they lack that I can fulfill?

3.  What are you looking for out of this contact?

Once these questions are answered, you have a better understanding of how to craft a perfect elevator speech. There are many online templates that will help you once you know the answers to these questions.


Other Elevator Speech Tips:

1. Make sure to practice what you will tell potential contacts and feel comfortable saying your speech. But make sure to not rehearse too much- still have flexibility in the conversation so you do not sound robotic and unfriendly. 

2. Give your full name so the people you meet can easily find you online. A first name is not much of a clue, so even if they do want to contact you, without a last name it is almost impossible. 

3. Keep your elevator speech relevant to the person you are talking with. While having a well developed elevator speech is crucial, make sure you tweak your experiences and goals to the person you are talking to. 

4. An elevator speech is basically a spoken cover letter. Make sure you are professional and show your personality in a short but memorable conversation.

5. Make sure to listen to comments after your speech is done. Many professionals suggest closing with an open-ended question so your listener can respond and keep the conversation flowing.


For college students, elevator speeches can be difficult to master, as you are basically marketing yourself to any potential contacts that you may cross paths with. However, learning the basics and establishing a rudimentary elevator speech that conveys the basic points and makes you memorable can be a great asset to any professional. Networking is a must, and to be a successful networker, you generally need a good elevator speech.