An elevator speech is something that is essential for all Business students. It is basically a speech ranging somewhere between 30 seconds to a minute that lets someone (like a potential employer) know who you are, what your skills are, your accomplishments, and a future goal. This sounds like a lot to say in 30-60 seconds, but I promise it can be done.
Why is this so essential? Well, if you don’t yet know, W.P. Carey has a few Business Career Fairs throughout the academic year in addition to the ones that the whole university hosts. By preparing an elevator speech before a fair, you will help potential employers learn something about you as well as network professionally when you attend and speak to some of the employers that attend.
With all that said, I would like to provide you with some tips when you start to prepare your own elevator speeches. I’ll also provide a sample at the end of the post so you can get an idea of what an elevator speech should look like.
- Think about what is unique about yourself. For example, there may be a student who is majoring in Business and Art because they have a passion for both topics. Something that could be unique to this student could be that they hope to be able to combine the two disciplines into one career post graduation.
- Use verbs and be specific! This is something that should come naturally when preparing an elevator speech. Make sure you use good verbs. For example saying something like “I want to find an internship working in the IT department of ABC Company” is really vague as opposed to saying “I am hoping to get an internship specializing in helping businesses determine new marketing strategies through the analysis of historical data to help raise profits or helping to create stronger relationships with new and existing customers.” When it comes to being specific, you really need to know what you want and what you’re looking for. Ultimately, this means you should cater an elevator speech to the type of position or internship that you’re seeking.
- Keep it simple and too the point. Once you finish giving your elevator speech, just stop talking! Often times, people find it hard to stay quiet, maybe because the feeling of awkward silence, but, you don’t want to drag what you have already said on and on.
- Your elevator speech should have the “I want to know more!” affect on your listener. In a nutshell, this means that your speech should be interesting!
- Rehearse your speech until you have it down nicely. Practice in front of the mirror, over and over until you don’t have to think about it too much. Having a well rehearsed speech will help you sound confident when you give it to a potential employer, which is very important.
- Smile! There’s no reason I should have to elaborate on this. No one dislikes someone who can put on a smile. It shows that you’re interested as well as excited about the speech you’re giving.
Here’s a sample for you:
Hi, my name is John Smith and I am currently a junior majoring in Computer Information Systems here at ASU. My area of interest lies within how the utilization of information systems can help make something more efficient. Last Summer I completed an internship with XYZ Inc. that focused on finding new ways on how information systems can help businesses create more efficient business processes to help cut costs and raise profits. I really enjoyed my time with XYZ Inc. and I’m hoping to find another internship where I can work on projects that can help firms change some of their manual processes to automatic ones to help create efficiency.