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How to Refine Your Elevator Pitch

You’ve likely heard the term “elevator pitch.”  This is the brief statement that explains what you do professionally and, more importantly, what you offer. This may be regarding what you offer an employer or a client. Ideally, you will tailor versions of your speech to suit particular audiences. If you remember the acronym MIBS as a memory device, you can create an effective elevator speech. MIBS stands for Memorable, Identifiable, Benefits-driven, and Short.

Refine Your Elevator Speech (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Be Memorable
A terrific elevator speech makes a memorable first impression and positions you for your current career goal.

Be Identifiable
The speech should also be identifiable.  If the listener can’t relate to what you are saying or understand the terms you are using, you have lost your audience. Keep it simple and maintain the listener’s attention.

Be Benefits-driven
Think about the benefits because people are always interested in “what’s in it for them,” focusing on how you can help will capture the listener’s attention. To determine the benefits, start by noting the services you provide and then think through the process to determine how an employer or client could benefit from those services. An example is, “I help distributors decrease costs by as much as 40% through process redesign.”

Be Short
Streamline and craft your speech until it is fifteen seconds in length. Use words so it flows from your lips effortlessly. Practice makes perfect to make your speech sound natural. Things move fast in this city, people don’t have time for long monologues.

If you want to network like a professional, you must craft your words with precision and master delivery of your elevator speech. Use the MIBS formula and you’ll capture your listener’s attention. They will be asking you for more information. You’ll have them just where you want them – wanting more!

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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