Let’s say you meet some new people at a trade show or networking event. How do you introduce yourself? Do you make a vague statement about your job, or do you offer a clear and compelling summary about your expertise and what you want to do? Having a catchy elevator pitch ready to go can help you make a positive impression on those you meet.

You can use an elevator pitch in all kinds of situations, too, from career fairs and job interviews to networking activities and casual conversations. The idea is to have a super-condensed and interesting response to, “Tell me what you do.”

Grant Olsen, a contributing writer for Foundr, says it’s important for professionals to know how to create a powerful statement that takes 25 seconds or less to deliver.

Want to learn how to craft an elevator pitch that rises to the occasion? Read on. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we outline Olsen’s three components of a stellar elevator pitch.

1. A clear objective. When you sit down to write or refresh your elevator pitch, think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to impress a potential employer? Land a meeting with a prospective buyer? Introduce yourself to new people? You can have more than one elevator pitch to suit different circumstances. Just make sure each pitch zeroes in on what you do and how the other person could benefit, says Olsen.

2. An interesting hook. The best elevator pitches are quick and catchy. Think about why you do your job. What do you find particularly fulfilling about it? Olsen points out that Steve Jobs wanted to change the world and that Airbnb wanted to connect travelers with locals. What’s your hook? What makes you different from all the other promotional consultants out there?

3. A call to action. Once you deliver your elevator pitch, think about what you want the other person to do. There should always be a drive toward action, notes Olsen. The more you give your elevator pitch, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel adjusting each conversation to suit the situation. For example, if you’re talking to a prospective client, you could end your speech with something like, “Can I set up a 15-minute call next week so I can explain in more detail how I could help your company?” And if you’re hoping to land a job interview, you might say, “Would you mind if I set up a quick call to talk about any upcoming opportunities on your team?”

With these basic components, you can begin crafting a powerful elevator pitch that will capture attention and help you establish new relationships. If you already have an elevator pitch, think about refreshing it. Olsen recommends updating any speech that’s more than six months old. Business has changed and the world has changed, so make sure you freshen up your elevator pitch so it’s timely.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Grant Olsen is a contributing writer for Foundr. He specializes in small business loans, leadership skills and growth strategies.