The Elevator Pitch And Self-Esteem

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An ‘elevator pitch’ usually refers to a short speech for selling a product or a company. However, it is a concept that works equally well for selling the idea of yourself.

Imagine you are in an elevator with someone and you have only a few moments before your stop to make a first impression. Unless you have been asked that particular question many times before, you may find yourself muttering or saying just the first thing that comes to mind, then wondering why you said that later on. Of course, this is not much good for your self-esteem.

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Get Ready

What are you going to say to make a memorable impact? The secret is to prepare your answer. Have something ready that goes beyond a one- or two- word answer. First of all, you need to think of likely introductory questions. Here are some possibilities:

  • What do you do?
  • How are you?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are you looking for in a job/relationship?

Next, you need to consider how you can make a very short speech which outlines your skill or characteristics, and what you are asking for. 

Preapare Your Answer

Let’s take the example of ‘What do you do?’ Even if you haven’t had much work experience and are still a student, you can highlight any transferable skills, such as research skills and the ability to meet deadlines.

Which subject are you most passionate about and inspired by? What awards or certificates do you have? Most importantly, what skills do you have? Make a list of power words and phrases, such as proficiency, expert in, first rate.

What Do You Excel at?

Now think about times people have remarked positively on your work. What have your received extra recognition for? What do you consider to be your greatest strength? Try to be specific. If you’re good with numbers, then say exactly what you like doing with numbers and the thing you really excel at.

If you are a people person, then play up these interpersonal talents. Being diplomatic and calm are much needed qualities, even if they don’t always come at the top of a job description. If you’re not sure how to talk about your talents, try using the words ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’.

Seize the Opportunity

When someone asks you what you do, they are also presenting an opportunity for you. You can also include what you’re aiming for, or anything in particular you’d like to achieve in your current role.

Ask yourself, what is it that is driving you towards that particular goal. Being able to express your passions, beliefs and inspirations will portray a sense of self-confidence and self-knowledge.

An Example

Here’s an example: I’m a psychology student working part time as a campus brand manager. I’m working towards a marketing certificate while I study, as I love working with people and learning about the psychology of advertising.  Recently, I organized an event which two hundred people attended. I’m hoping to move into corporate marketing when I graduate.

Why Is an Elevator Pitch Useful?

You can create elevator pitches for other questions, too. Have there been situations where you wish you’d have said something else, or been more prepared with an answer? Often we can anticipate questions, especially if we’re talking with a stranger or acquaintance. Having your elevator pitch ready allows you to assume some control over the conversation.

This exercise invites you to think more deeply about yourself and how to phrase your strengths and goals. Once you’ve rehearsed and practiced several times, you’ll probably notice that you feel more assured about who and what you are.  You never know which person can help you get closer to your dreams, so always be prepared!

Key Points

  • An elevator pitch is a very short speech used to market something or someone
  • A good pitch will include something about your talents, motivations and aspirations
  • We can create pitches in answer to common questions
  • Having answers that are a bit pre-rehearsed can help our self-esteem and confidence.


Full reference: 

(Dec 18, 2015). The Elevator Pitch And Self-Esteem. Retrieved Jun 22, 2024 from

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