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The 30 Second Elevator Pitch: Successful Tips and Examples

The average speaker can say about 75 words in 30 seconds, without interruption. This 30-second timeframe is what’s typically allotted for the ever-so-popular elevator pitch… any longer and either you might become a nuisance or whomever you’re delivering your pitch to could begin to walk away.

As you’ve probably realized, that’s not a lot of time to get your message across, as well as a very limited amount of words. With the title included, we’ve already surpassed the 75-word “limit”. We’ve just reached word 94. By now you’re probably asking yourself, how is it even possible to create a successful elevator pitch in 1/7 of the time the average song lasts? It’s clear to see just how efficient you’ll have to be when it comes to the delivery of a 30-second elevator pitch. Every second really does count.    

So How Is It Done? 

While the answer is not simple, a successful 30-second elevator pitch isn’t an impossible feat. This article hasn’t been written to trick you and tell you it can’t be done, because many people have mastered the art of a pitch in order to get their foot in the door. That being said, half a minute goes by in a snap, so you’ll have to work hard and pick up some new techniques to deliver a lasting pitch that efficiently. 

Tips for An Efficient 30-Second Delivery:

Craft a Natural Introduction 

Because the 30 seconds goes by so fast you’ll probably want to dive right in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. You need to consider an introductory opener that doesn’t feel “pitchy” but can be allotted into the 30 seconds that’s (ideally) all yours. About 10-15 seconds of the 30 should be set up for an introduction and a little background information on your experience as a professional.

Know Where You’re Headed 

Have the elevator pitch mapped out. Once you get past the opener, don’t hesitate to make the direction you’re headed in clear. 

Include a Call to Action

CTA’s aren’t just for written/online marketing material. In an elevator pitch, you’re marketing yourself so of course, you’ll want to include a call to action. If you don’t have one in mind, what’s the point of your pitch? You want the person to take action, so make the pitch’s purpose clear and give them a hook.  

Seek Feedback 

It’s difficult to improve something without an additional perspective. Get an opinion from someone you trust and ask them to go over your pitch with you. They will be able to target places that need improvement while you get a chance to continually work on its delivery, which leads to… 

Practice to Achieve Confidence 

It’s important that you time your pitch to make sure it’s roughly within half a minute. Practice will help immensely when it comes to its actual delivery. Confidence is a key component to an elevator pitch and being well-prepared leads to this. Some great methods for practicing are to record your pitch, use a stopwatch, and to present it in front of a mirror. While all of this may feel silly, these methods definitely help with preparedness.   

Some Great 30-Second Pitch Examples

Check out the elevator pitch below from a student at UC Davis and learn more about crafting your pitch as a student. {Link to student elevator pitch blog here – blog is not live yet}

“Hi, my name is Samantha, and I am a senior Environmental Sciences major. I’m looking for a position that will allow me to use my research and analysis skills. Over the past few years, I’ve been strengthening these skills through my work with a local watershed council on conservation strategies to support water quality and habitats. Eventually, I’d like to develop education programs on water conservation awareness. I read that your organization is involved in water quality projects. Can you tell me how someone with my experience may fit into your organization?”

Visit Outstanding Tips and Examples of Elevator Pitches to see a mockup pitch for our company.  

The Ultimate Goal is that 30 Seconds will lead to more time… 

If you’ve reached out to the right person at the right time, that initial 30 seconds can lead to 30 minutes or even longer. Who knows what doors half a minute can open for your future. This is precisely the reason why you should be thinking about putting together a great 30-second elevator pitch to have on hand for those times when well-prepared networking could make all the difference.  



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