Wayne State University students compete in Elevator Pitch Competition – Could you?

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Do you have your elevator speech ready? Some students at Wayne State are competing to have the best.

Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business is hosting its first ever "Elevator Pitch Competition" Friday, April 8 at the RenCen.

A select group of Wayne State students will take an elevator ride there with an executive from Quicken Loans, PwC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GM or Ford.

And the students will have that 90-seconds from the ground floor to Coach Insignia to give their elevator pitch to one executive, and then they'll have the trip down to pitch to another executive.

The top three will win scholarship money.


Seriously, if you craft a good elevator speech for yourself, you could end up scoring a new work gig.

So, where do you start?

Forbes magazine posted the top 9 tips for the perfect elevator pitch according to career coach and author Nancy Collamer.

Here they are:

1.     Clarify your job target. 

            How can people hire you if you can't even explain which job you want?  You should know the position or type of job that you're looking for.

2.     Put it on paper.

            Jot down your relevant work experience and accolades, and then chop it down to only what's necessary.

3.     Format it.

            A good pitch -- at the minimum -- will explain three main points:

            -Who are you? -What do you do? -What are you looking for? Those are the basics. And explaining that will fill probably 15 seconds. So, the next step gets more creative.

4.     Tailor the pitch to them, not you.

            It shows the potential employer how your talents could help their business, and not what they can do for you.  

5.     Eliminate industry jargon.

           No tech speak. Keep your spiel easy to understand.

6.     Read your pitch out loud!

            Sometimes the written word -- once spoken-- comes off stilted and more like an infomercial. Not good. Go for the more genuine delivery.

7.     Practice, practice, practice.

            Rehearse in front of the mirror, and then deliver it to your family and friends.

            And take the feedback.  If they notice something that doesn't work, just go back and make your speech better. That's what practicing is all about.

8.     Prepare a few versions.

            Maybe you'll only get 15-seconds to sell yourself. Or, you'll have a few minutes.

            No matter what...be prepared.

9.     Nail it with confidence.

Look them in the eye, smile, and deliver your message in an upbeat, confident way.

You never know.  This little speech – whether it happens in an elevator or not -- may be your ticket to that next new job opportunity.