University of Vermont

Elevator Speech

How do you want to be perceived and remembered? If you want to make a good first impression, it’s important to pay attention to the message you are sending as you introduce yourself.  An elevator speech is a brief introduction including: core skills, interest areas, and goals.  

Get started on crafting your Elevator Speech

  • I am… (Introduction of name, career field, major, school etc.)
  • I have experience/ skills in … (Brief description of your experiences, skills, and/ or studies.)
  • I am interested in/ would like to… (Your career interests, aspirations, goals.)

Example: Hello, My name is Brenda. I am a senior studying Social Work at UVM and have a strong interest in advocacy and social justice. I have experience as a peer mentor and RA and have developed skills in conflict resolution and group facilitation. I’m interested in working with adolescents.

Show your organizational knowledge (at career fairs and networking events)

  • I’ve learned that your organization…. (Demonstration of your research about their organization.)

Example: I understand that your organization works with homeless and runaway youth in the Burlington area. I would like to learn more about your summer opportunities.


  • Be prepared to talk about yourself anytime, anywhere. You never know who’s listening!
  • Prepare different versions of your elevator speech for various situations.
  • Make your speech sincere and provide a glimpse into your personality.
  • Speak confidently and enthusiastically.
  • Maintain eye contact with the listener.
  • Practice!


  • Use more words than necessary.
  • Use jargon, abbreviations, or acronyms.
  • Rush breathlessly through the speech or sound overly rehearsed.

Uses for an Elevator Speech

  • Any time you want to present yourself professionally
  • Career fairs
  • Networking events and receptions
  • Interview introductions
  • Conferences
  • Exchanging business cards
  • Voicemail messages

Last modified July 17 2018 10:10 AM