Three Tips for Delivering an Effective Elevator Pitch About Yourself

Woman looking at computer screen

By Jaclyn Lansbery

When it comes to career development, interview preparation is key. The Kellstadt Career Management Center (CMC) recently hosted a week-long competition to help current graduate business students develop an elevator pitch about themselves for job interviews. The “Pitch Me” Competition challenged students to submit a 60- to 90-second video of themselves answering the ultimate interview questions, “Tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you perfect for this role?”

Each participant who submitted a pitch received individual feedback from CMC career coaches while the top five pitches were reviewed by an employer partner at Baker Tilly, a public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Chicago. A committee, consisting of Kellstadt career experts, then selected a winner who delivered the best pitch. MBA student Brad Blumenthal was chosen as the winner.

Although Blumenthal has decades of work and pitch experience, he says he wanted to participate in the “Pitch Me” competition to gain feedback from the CMC.

“The experience was great. Watching the recommended videos taught me a ton about how to pitch to a camera instead of a person,” he says. “In fact, my whole pitch was organized around the suggestions there. I’m really un-telegenic, so it was cringe-worthy to check the result, but creating the pitch was tremendously useful.”

Blumenthal, who has worked in a variety of technology roles, says he hopes to use the pitch experience to find a creative and entrepreneurial role working in R&D or an innovation organization. Blumenthal is currently pursuing an MBA with a custom concentration, primarily focusing on management and business strategy and decision-making.

Below, we outline three reasons why Blumenthal’s submission demonstrates an effective elevator pitch:

  1. Overall virtual professionalism and etiquette
    Given the current environment in which job candidates are interviewing for positions, the judges assessed whether students could convey a professional presence from behind the computer screen. Blumenthal was “cognizant of his overall tone and presence in front of the camera screen,” says Erin Warns, a CMC career specialist who helped review the “Pitch Me” submissions. His pitch conveyed professionalism through how he dressed and by recording the pitch in front of a wall that displayed his diploma.
  2. Telling a story
    When selling yourself as a candidate, it is important to effectively tell a story and provide the audience “evidence” of how you might add value to the organization. In his pitch, Blumenthal described his core values and how they drive his professional and personal growth. “The audience is instantly able to sense his genuine passion for learning and his strengths in technology which are very relevant toward his dream job,” Warns says.
  3. Overall length
    The definition of an elevator pitch is a short description of an idea that clearly conveys a concept in a short amount of time without losing the audience’s attention. “We want our students to understand the appropriate length of an interview question or elevator pitch as well as to understand that each fact or sentence in the pitch should be intentional and relevant for the audience,” Warns says. Blumenthal’s recorded pitch lasted for one minute and 30 seconds.

Watch Blumenthal’s full elevator pitch below:


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Posted on

September 21, 2020