Hold the Elevator


Like most elevator rides, attention spans are short. Still, most people will take the time to hold the elevator long enough for you to dash in. That’s because most folks want to be helpful.


And, while you may not be riding many elevators these days, you still need an elevator speech that helps them help you get to the next level.

Too often I see job seekers and freelancers jump into networking before they’ve polished their pitch. Without a clear, concise and an engaging narrative, it’s often difficult for people to know how to help.

Done right, an elevator speech will help you introduce yourself to business contacts in a compelling way.

An effective story tells people who you are, what you do and what you want to do (if you’re looking for a job). It’s short (30-60 seconds), authentic and conversational. Done right, it will help you introduce yourself to business contacts in a compelling way.

What’s your story? Here’s mine:

  • I am an executive coach. I help professional women—and a few cool men—manage themselves and their teams more effectively. I help my clients get unstuck, gain confidence and see things from a different perspective. Just like a personal trainer helps you reach your fitness goals, a coach helps you reach your career goals. Do you know anyone who is looking to level-up their career?

Here are a few others:

  • I recently graduated from college with a degree in communications. I worked at the local radio station as a scheduler and also assisted one of my professors with her weekly podcast. I'm looking for a job that will put my skills in broadcast journalism to work.

  • I am looking for a broader role that combines my leadership and communications skills. I am a planner, problem solver and go-to person for getting things done. I take a big-picture approach and enjoy collaborating across an organization. I am interested in a chief of staff role and would love to learn more about that position. Do you know anyone you could introduce me to?

  • I am a marketing consultant. I often bridge a gap that companies may have in their marketing team by acting as in interim marketing director and helping companies establish an in-house marketing function by hiring the right permanent players.

Let me know your story.

Recent Posts

See All

On the Fence About a Job Offer?

A client wrote me between sessions regarding a job offer he was weighing. It was reasonably early in our engagement and he was still in the process of refining the criteria against which he would eval

New Job: Getting Off to a Good Start

Articles to get off on the right foot at your new job. Starting a New Job? Take Control of Your On-Boarding (HBR) 5 Questions to Ask When Starting a New Job (HBR)