Career & Professional Development

Helping Gonzaga University Students and Alumni Clarify and Achieve Their Academic and Professional Goals

Tag: Elevator Pitch

Elevator Pitching

Imagine that you are in an elevator. The doors open and in walks the CEO of your favorite organization. You have the time of the elevator ride to get your message across of who you are and what you are about. What would you say?

A good elevator pitch should sound impromptu, but you’ll need to prepare it in advance to get it that way. Keep in mind the following five questions that your elevator pitch should answer:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. What can you do for me?
  4. Why should I hire you?
  5. How can I contact you?

Things to consider:

  • Start with a positive, confident and uplifting intro. This sets the tone for the message and common sense courtesy goes a long way in this case.
  • Practice, practice, practice. When you’re comfortable with it, practice on family and friends, and ask them for feedback on the content of your performance.
  • Keep the message concise (less than 30 seconds to be safe!)
  • Maintain eye contact. This displays confidence and trustworthiness – it’s all about a good first impression
  • Tailor your delivery to the circumstances of the moment: the goal is to maintain a conversational tone and not sound rehearsed

If you’re still stuck, take a peek at this sample elevator pitch:

“Hello, I am Jane Doe and I am currently a junior at Gonzaga University majoring in Public Relations. I believe one of my strengths is my ability to problem solve critically while working in a team. I enjoy learning and social media. I am looking for an internship opportunity that allows me to expand my developing leadership skills while gaining new insights into the field of communications. It is a pleasure meeting you and thank you in advance for your assistance with my search!”

What is Your Favorite Commercial?

Each year, marketing companies spend millions of dollars researching and creating the best of the best to be highlighted at the “championships” of commercials, that’s right: the Super Bowl.  Each year the site Super Bowl Commercials ranks by vote the top commercials of the Super Bowl.  Instead of going through the “duds”, I thought I would highlight the best of the year.

The third best in 2010,  has been awarded to the Coke Commercial that finally puts Mr. Burns with the normal people in Broke Billionare.  (Talk about social commentary.)

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The runner up for 2010 is the Snickers commercial featuring a muddy Betty White.  I’ll be honest, this commercial cracked me up at the end but had me curious throughout.  And, it was one funny commercial.

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The “winner” of the 2010 Super Bowl Commericals (again according to: is the simple Google commercial, that after watching it had me in near tears.  Mock me all you’d like but the commerical showcased the power of the Google search, and how it has become a verb in our daily lives.

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So, I have to ask…what makes all of these commercials great?

  • Memorable: I don’t know about you, but I am not forgetting Betty White getting tackled anytime soon.
  • Relevant:  How long have us Simpson’s fans waited for Mr. Burns to finally join the “working class” of Billionaires? ( I know I have.)
  • Focused:   The Google Ad’s message was “Search On”.  Fairly simple and focused if you asked me.  The commercial never lacked direction or insight, necessary for be awarded the best.

I’d like to challenge you to consider creating a similar commercial, but not for a Fortunate 500, but for yourself. Here are the Career Center we encourage all job hunting students and alumni to have a focused, relevant, memorable and well-research 30 Second Commercial (or an elevator pitch.)

Picture this: you are at a Career Fair and you finally have one minute with an employer you are very interested in.  What do you say?  How do you spend that time?  That is when you deliver your commercial!  Include:

  • Name/Major/Hometown
  • Opportunities that you are seeking
  • Relevant experience (work, internship, volunteer, activities)
  • Highlights of skills and strengths

Once you have it written down, practice makes perfect!  That way it sounds natural and it is delivered with confidence.

Need coaching on developing your elevator pitch?  Don’t be shy…. swing on by the Career Center (2nd Floor of Crosby)!  We are always happy to help.