How to deliver an elevator pitch with confidence


Want to know the secret to delivering a great elevator pitch? Read on, we’ve got a few that could surprise you.

The Bagg Group has been around for more than 40 years. In that time, we’ve successfully placed about 60,000 people in full-time, temp and contract work.

One reason why we’re so good at making the right match is because we’re experts at really listening to clients and candidates.

We know that words aren’t the only things that tell your story. Your energy, speed, tone, eyes, say a lot too.

Here’s what we know makes your elevator pitch work:

1.  Talk your elevator pitch, don’t sell it.   Imagine being trapped in an elevator with someone who is desperate and determined to sell you something.  Instead of listening, you’ll likely be thinking, “Help, gelevator helpet me out of here.”  Still, we know when you’re anxious to make a connection, it’s tough to come off as confident and easy-going on the outside. That’s why we recommend taking tip #2 to heart.

2.  Remember that your elevator pitch is not a do-or-die moment. For a good delivery, you can’t feel desperate or worried. People pick up on desperation, and it works against you. So remind yourself this is just one moment in your life –there’ll be lots of other opportunities to tell people about yourself.

3. Your goal is only to share a story In this case, the story is about you and what you can do that is interesting for others.

To practice your delivery, tell or imagine telling a friend about a movie or show you watched. After a sentence or two about the show, go straight into your elevator pitch. The idea with this exercise is to help you find a conversational tone to use when telling your elevator story.

Example: I watched the Imitation Game last night. Really interesting biopic about Alan Turing and how he cracked a code that everyone thought was unbreakable. I really enjoy market analysis, so I’m looking to do more work with big data because it’s the way of future for companies, if you don’t understand your audience, you can’t connect with them.

4. Get off to a slow start. When someone asks what you’re up to, don’t rush into the answer. Go quiet for a second. When we get nervous, our heart beats faster, and we talk faster too. Panic rushes, and people can sense nervousness. On the other hand, confidence takes its time.

To practice: Wait a beat, or take a breath, before you speak. Or force yourself to slow down by starting off with something like, “This is a really interesting time for me. Pause. I’m…..”

 5. If you really feel your nerves are getting the better of you, mention the elephant in the room, but call it “excitement”.  If you can’t fake calm confidence, tell the listener right out that you’re “excited” about what you hope to do. In this way, your listener will see your nervousness as high enthusiasm.

Example: “I’m really excited about doing work with digital agencies. I live and breathe graphic design so for me…”

6. Speak just like someone you admire does:  It can be a colleague, friend, news anchor, politician, TV host, actor, role model. Of course, it should be someone who would be a good presenter. Marlon Brando in The Godfather? Not so much. If no one comes to mind, check out TED talks on any subject of your interest.  The speakers get a lot of expert coaching on how to be powerful presenters, and they get it right.  To find a great speaker quickly, seeTED’s most popular talks of all time.

To practice:  Imagine how someone you admire would deliver your elevator speech. How would they stand? What would their pacing be? Would they pause between sentences? Would their voice be high, low, slow, rushed?

Here’s one other bit of advice from recruiters at Bagg Professional, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg @ Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources and Turn Key Staffing:

Forget talking to the mirror.  It’s a standard tip to suggest you tell your pitch to the mirror, and if that works for you, great.  But a lot of people find it takes their confidence away.  Many of us are too hard on ourselves when we look into the mirror so it doesn’t always help. Plus, the mirror doesn’t talk back.

The best way to rehearse is to record your elevator pitch. Use your smart phone, your computer, or even leave it as a voice message for yourself. Then you can play it back, and hear what kind of impression you make, what you like, and what you want to change.

And of course, don’t forget saying it to friends and family. In fact, why not invite them to ride an elevator with you … a few times?


  1.  How to handle a pessimist in the elevator
  2.  Elevator Pitch – FSU Career Services Blog

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