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Looking for a New Job? You Need an Elevator Pitch

elevator pitchIf you are looking for a new job, you need to sell yourself. In addition to having a stellar resume, you should be prepared to talk to people in interviews or casual conversations about your accomplishments, skills, and what you bring to the table. You can be ready to do that by crafting an elevator pitch.

Remember what an elevator pitch is supposed to be. It should be a brief (15- to 30-second) summary of who you are as an employee and what you have to offer to the company. Don’t try to talk about every job you have ever had. You can elaborate in your resume and in subsequent conversations. An elevator pitch should serve to get an employer interested and wanting to learn more about you. Focus on your major accomplishments and an overview of your career.

Always focus on what you can contribute to the company in the position for which you are applying. Explain what skills you have that are relevant to the position, not every single thing you are capable of doing. Identify a problem the employer has and explain how you can offer a solution.

Write out your elevator pitch so you can get it right and practice. Start by writing a page highlighting your experience and achievements. Cut it down to half a page, then a quarter, and finally just a paragraph with a few sentences.

Practice delivering your elevator pitch. Memorize how you want to word it and practice your tone of voice and rate of speaking. Ask a friend or family member to listen and critique your performance. You should practice until you can give your elevator pitch with confidence. Then you will be prepared when someone asks you to talk about yourself in an interview.

Artist Creates Sculpture from Old Elevator Parts

elevator sculpture Glen LeMesurierCanadian artist Glen LeMesurier makes unique sculptures from metal parts he salvages from retired machinery, including elevators, farm equipment, and factory machines. He says before he begins working on a new sculpture, he allows the components to speak to him about their pasts and the stories of the workers who used them.

Most of LeMesurier’s works use machinery from 1890 to 1900 and the 1930s to 1940s. He likes to use machines from the industrial revolution that has ended and reintegrate them back into culture.

His most recent work, called “Teenage Wildlife,” was made for game designer Ubisoft’s Montreal headquarters. LeMesurier used parts from a 100-year-old elevator that was decommissioned when renovating a part of the 112-year-old former garment factory. Ubisoft asked him to find a way to reuse the antique gears. The company wanted to have a work of art that reflected its history.

The sculpture uses gears and wheels in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, along with other components, including animal skulls and feathers. It references Ubisoft’s games, including an upcoming medieval combat game called “For Honor,” by resembling a catapult.

LeMesurier transported the components from Ubisoft to his studio in Mile End, which is just blocks away, and back with help from his son. He removed over 100 years’ worth of accumulated grease by burning the parts in a clearing behind his studio. The final sculpture was so large that it barely fit in his studio. It was broken down into 15 pieces, transported to Ubisoft, and rebuilt near the entrance to the building.

Saudi Royals Leave France Early after Beach Controversy

Saudi royal family beach elevatorAfter sparking controversy and protests from the public and government leaders, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his family cut short their vacation in France. The king and his entourage of several hundred people were expected to vacation in Vallauris on the French Riviera for three weeks, but they left after only eight days.

The trip was controversial because locals and tourists were ordered to stay off the public beach and the royal family was granted permission to construct a temporary elevator to take them from their villa to the beach. Angry residents and politicians had a petition signed by over 150,000 people protesting the closure of the beach. The locals had briefly been able to halt construction of the elevator, but the plans were allowed to move forward. Police officers were also upset because female officers were not allowed to go near the Saudi royal family.

Government officials insisted that the king did not cut his vacation short, but rather that he had been planning to leave at this time all along. The Saudi embassy had indicated that the king would be vacationing in France until around August 20. The king and many members of his entourage boarded a flight from Nice to Tangiers, Morocco to return to Saudi Arabia.

Now that the royal family has left, the beach is open to the public again. The elevator that was constructed for the king and his family is being dismantled. Despite the controversy, the influx of Saudis provided a boost to the local economy.

Convincing the Public to Trust Modern Elevators and Cars

elevators driverless carsAs Google tries to convince the general public that its driverless cars are safe, many people are skeptical. Those who are used to being in control and who have never seen a self-driving car are nervous and concerned about safety.

People had similar feelings when elevators without operators were initially introduced. In the early days, operators manually guided elevators to a stop at passengers’ requested floors. The doors were opened and closed manually. Early elevators were dangerous because they lacked the safety features we take for granted today.

Elevator manufacturers addressed these problems by adding many safety devices and automatic stopping. In 1900, a driverless elevator was introduced, but it was slow to catch on. People would often walk into an elevator, see that there was no operator, and leave.

In 1945, elevator operators in New York went on strike, which prevented 1.5 million office workers from getting to their jobs and cost the city $100 million in lost taxes. Building owners demanded changes, and the elevator industry realized that they needed to convince the public that modern elevators were safe.

Advertisements were introduced that showed elderly women riding in elevators and children pressing buttons to demonstrate how safe elevators without operators were. Recorded voices told passengers that they were in automatic elevators and calmly requested that they press the buttons for their desired floors. The voices also told people how to pull an emergency stop button if necessary.

The campaign worked. Elevators today are considered safe, and lifts with operators are virtually non-existent. Google’s designers are studying the history of elevators as they attempt to reassure the public that their driverless cars are safe.

Tips to Help You with Your Elevator Pitch

elevator pitch tipsIf you are an entrepreneur looking to market a product to investors or to grow your business, you need to be able to explain your company’s product or service in a brief, clear, and exciting way that will make people want to learn more and get involved. This can be achieved with a well-crafted elevator pitch, a brief description of your product or service and what sets your company apart. Here are some tips to help you develop yours.

Don’t start out by explaining the history of your company. A potential investor wants to hear about a problem you have identified and how your product or service can solve it. You can explain your backstory later.

Investors are interested in facts, not vague statements about how something can make people’s lives better. Give information, figures, and statistics about what your product or service does and what it can achieve.

Acknowledge competing companies and products in the same market or field. Explain what sets your product and company apart from the competition and why an investor should be interested in your business and not another.

An investor does not just want to promote a product. A business venture is an investment in people as well. Explain who your team members are, how you work together, and what sets you apart from others.

An elevator pitch should be short and to the point. Limit your elevator pitch to 150 to 225 words, or 30 to 60 seconds. If you try to talk too much in that initial interaction, you can irritate the other person and possibly lose yourself a deal. Ask for a one-hour follow-up session to discuss your company’s product or service further. Be prepared to talk for about 10 minutes and spend the rest of the time answering questions.

Be ready for that meeting with important documents, such as an executive summary of your company’s business plan. This will reinforce your message and show that you and your business are serious.

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