Communication ~ 45 second – 2 minute "elevator speech"

You have made it to the interview and now you know the most commonly asked interview question will come up. Could you please tell us something about yourself? What do you say? How do you say it? How do you communicate to an employer that you are the best person for the job? By creating and practicing your elevator speech. You may even have to create more than one of them if you are looking for different types of jobs based on different experience and skill sets.

A retail worker might say “I have 5+ years of customer service experience and have been recognized for being able to calm upset customers. I am friendly and get along well with others and often have customers come back and ask for me to assist them. I like helping people and customer service with a smile is critical to being successful in this type of position.”

A retail worker may also say “I have been working in the retail business for 5+ years and have extensive cash handling and cash register experience. I am well versed in product display and what it takes to make a successful sales campaign. Of  course I know inventory control and keeping track of stock and how and where to place items to get the full benefit and effect of the placement.”

Do you see how a person that has been doing one job can break the information into different categories to broaden their experience? Most jobs have many facets to them so it is simply a matter of thinking of the various aspects of your job and putting skills into categories.

An Administrative Assistant might talk first about clerical skills such as keyboarding, computer data input, filing, faxing, and other general office duties and base a whole section of their elevator speech around the clerical aspect.

Next they might also talk about organizational skills such as keeping an appointment calendar for executives, scheduling trips or events, taking and recording minutes at meetings, planning meeting details, and writing correspondence, ensuring expense reports are completed, etc.

And  then move right into the customer service portion of what must be done to keep the clients happy, making sure that phone messages are delivered in a timely manner and customers are called back promptly, handling customer complaints might be an important duty that is handled and if there is a story that demonstrates the way a situation was handled, all the better because stories from previous experience are powerful to show a potential employer what you can and have done.

One position, 3 different skill sets to draw from. Putting that information together in a short version is called the elevator speech and can be used in networking situations also. In many situations the question comes up…”So what do you do?” and that is when you use your elevator speech to let others know what you do and what kind of work you are looking for.

The elevator speech isn’t random…it is practiced and learned and that means practicing it out loud so you can hear yourself and how you sound as you say it. This is a critical piece of the puzzle because no matter how much you think the thoughts in your head, if you don’t practice them out loud, you won’t be able to say them convincingly or effectively. It is also a good idea to talk in front of a mirror so you can see your mannerisms because remember, communication is also non-verbal.

6 Responses to Communication ~ 45 second – 2 minute "elevator speech"

Leave a Reply

Click here for free resume samples. Remember to put the word "samples" in the information box Contact us

Non-verbal communication is still communication
You have made it to the interview and now you need to make a great impression. What are your nervous habits? Do you really sit as straight as you think you do? Are you making eye contact? Watching the clock? Read more to ensure you are communicating what you want... Career Blog

Colleague Statement
“Loretta is a highly experienced and productive professional in the field of Workforce Development, Job Readiness, Career Counseling, Workshop Facilitation, and Job Search Preparation. I have worked with her closely for over six years, and she has consistently been a valuable, key resource in the employment community. For three of those years, she was at Napa Valley College as a resource specialist in their career center... 
Read More