Bore Someone To Death With A 30 Second Elevator Speech

May 15 2012 in Featured, Interviews, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Want to bore someone to death?

Treat them to the worst 30 seconds of their life with your 30 second elevator pitch …

Many career experts teach you to practice a 30 second elevator speech – So that if Warren Buffet is trapped in an elevator with you, you’ll be dully prepared to bore him to death.

Do you think that will impress hiring managers? Um … Probably not.

So if a 30 second elevator pitch doesn’t work, what should you say if you’ve trapped a potential hiring manager in an elevator or in a more normal office situation?

I’ve got you covered, with 4 best practices to use in place of a 30 second elevator pitch …

A 30 second elevator pitch is all about you. The reason the concept is called an elevator pitch in the first place is because your listener is trapped. You feel you have the chance to make it all about you, because you’ve trapped the listener – giving best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search infothem no choice but to listen to you blather on about yourself for 30 seconds.


Instead, why not use those 30 seconds to impress your audience? What if you could keep them interested in what you’re saying at the same time?

What if you could also use that time to gain insight into what was really important to the person you were talking to?

Wouldn’t that be a better use of your target hiring manager’s time?

Here’s 4 ways to improve your elevator speech:

  1. Keep It Short: 30 seconds is too long to keep someone’s attention, when all you’re talking about is you. Keep it short, to give your audience an idea about why they should want to talk to you. Make your introduction 15 seconds max – shorter of possible.
  2. Ask A Question Or Two: You’re only going to have time for one question – maybe two if captured the hiring manager’s attention – so better make your questions awesome. Use your intro as a way to get your audience to answer questions about their business. Ask questions that demonstrate your research and your own background/experience. Well thought questions are a far more powerful way to show knowledge than directly stating you have that knowledge.
  3. It’s About Them, Not About You: No one wants to hear you blather on about yourself. However, your audience is interested in learning how you can help them … but first you need to learn what kind of help your audience needs, what priority problems they face. Only after you learn their priority problems, can you be effective by stating … “Oh yeah, I solved similar problems for my last employer … ” This almost guarantees audience interest.
  4. Choose An Achievable Goal: The goal of your elevator pitch shouldn’t be to get a job. That’s almost impossible to do just from an elevator pitch alone. Make your goal an achievable step towards getting a job … like how about getting invited to schedule a meeting (or lunch)?

What do you think? Do you think you’d get more opportunities with a short intro and a question or two?

Or by boring your trapped hiring manager with a 30 second death wish of self-promotion?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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