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The Do’s and Don’ts when Developing your Personal Elevator Pitch

What is an Elevator Pitch? 

An Elevator Pitch is a core statement or introduction of about 30 seconds where you explain what value you or a brand can bring to the table. When looked at in a personal capacity, this statement typically helps you describe who you are, what your expertise or capabilities are and focus on your distinctive traits. Everyone who wants to grow in a career, needs to have a social media presence and persona and anyone who has a prospective job in mind or is presented with networking opportunities to get deals and grow their business, needs a well-structured and powerful personal elevator pitch as a way of introducing themselves.  

Introducing yourself is a critical element to get right as part of your personal branding and the first impression you make. There is a famous quote by Albert Einstein that reads: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Understanding yourself well, evaluating your strengths and having a concise elevator pitch as part of your personal branding, is what will set you apart from the crowd. Yet, there are still pitfalls to avoid and tips for getting it right. Let’s look at the Do’s and Don’ts of developing a personal elevator pitch.

The Do’s and Don’ts of developing a Personal Elevator Pitch.

Chris O’Leary, the American Author of, “Elevator Pitch Essentials” (1945) said: “I have found that an effective elevator pitch is nine things: concise, clear, compelling, credible, conceptual, concrete, consistent, customised, conversational.” Keeping these nine “Cs” in mind when you develop your personal elevator pitch will help you “sell” yourself successfully. So, what should you consider:


  • Be to the point and leave unnecessary information out.
  • Start with a bang to hook the listener.
  • Be you. Take stock of what skills and experience you have and then focus on authenticity and your uniqueness. This is what will separate you from the rest.
  • Tell your story in a short but conversational way. This means highlighting interesting perspectives of your work or emphasizing some of your achievements but keeping the language casual yet confident.
  • Develop more than one elevator pitch. Each one should be developed with the target audience in mind.
  • Practice the pitch repeatedly. This will help you sound confident and well versed. 
  • Test your elevator pitch on someone objective who will give you constructive criticism. 
  • Talk with passion, energy, enthusiasm, and determination in your voice. 
  • Do take note of your body language. You can have an amazing, catchy pitch but combined with bad body language it can instantly be your downfall. 


  • Don’t develop a pitch that leaves the listener aka receiver of the message asking the question, “Okay so what?”
  • Refrain from using jargon or unfamiliar language.
  • Don’t bore people with useless information that is of no significance to them. Ideally, an elevator pitch should be structured for each target audience.
  • Don’t ramble on and make the pitch longer than 30 seconds.
  • Don’t doubt yourself. This will make you look unsure of your facts and make conviction difficult.  
  • Don’t be arrogant and brag. You should remain humble when you talk about your achievements. 
  • Don’t leave the listener feeling unengaged. Prompt them to ask questions. 

The important thing to remember when you deliver your pitch is to come across as natural as possible. Breathing regularly and talking at a normal pace but still confidently highlighting key elements in a professional yet normal language about what sets you apart. 

Personal Mastery and Branding is a journey towards continuous improvement. Essential to developing your personal brand is to know yourself, inside and out. The Mindspa Institute offers a Personal Mastery and Branding training course which focusses on clarifying and deepening our personal vision, focusing our energies, understanding our strengths and potential, and seeing reality objectively.  During this training session, delegates will be taken through all the steps to attain Personal Mastery, and then each delegate will build their personal brand and create a personal business plan.