Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Your Love, Life and Goals in three minutes

One important piece of advice we hear again and again, is that when you’re looking for work, network, network, network!  And one of the tools for networking is to have different versions of your elevator speech ready for all occasions.

So here are some quick pointers:

Make a list of 10 things you feel are important that you want to convey about yourself.  Laura Katen mentions things like what you have achieve, goals, work and service accomplished for places you have worked and volunteered in.

Strike through anything that seems repetitious and craft what's left to sound not only informative but interesting as well.  As your list shapes up, make sure it addresses "Who I Am,”

  • “What I Do,” 
  • “How I Do It,” 
  • “Why I Do It,” and 
  • “Who I Do It For

Once you have about two sentences (for a short elevator ride) of talking points, make sure your most important items are first, in case the ride gets interrupted.  And add an interesting fact to hook your listener at the beginning of your brief talk so that they want to hear more.

Both Ms. Katen and the Peace corps orientation handbook also suggest that practicing your speech is crucial.

The Peace corps orientation handbook also suggest the following when meeting a new person (probably not in an elevator, unless your being introduced):

  • Shake hands firmly.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Use the person’s name.
  • Respect personal space.
  • Be confident, friendly, and enthusiastic.Goals
  • Ask thoughtful questions.  If you know something about a professor’s research, ask about it!
  • Follow up with people after the event / meet


Katen, L. (2011, October 13). Perfect pitch: How to nail your elevator speech. The Daily Muse, Retrieved from

Peace corps fellows orientation handbook . (2010). Paper presented at University of Arizona – graduate college peace corps fellows/ usa. doi: 8/17/2010 url:

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