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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Student Tip: The 30-second Elevator Pitch

Why you need to think up of a 30-second verbal summary of your work, and what it should deliver.

Yes you need it need it even if you are a research student! The 30-second elevator pitch about the work you do. You will asked, in some form or another, time and again, and your answer will be used to size you up as a potential collaborator, funding recipient, and future employee. So its never too early to make one up.

What is expected out of the pitch?

At the minimum, the pitch needs to answer the following questions
  1. Your name, your research group (you may include your advisor's name), and if needed, your affiliation
  2. Your sub-field of specialization in the subject you work on. Remember that you will need to specialize or generalize (zoom in or zoom out) depending on the expertise of your audience. For example, if speaking to a professor of computer science you may want to say something like "I work in distributed routing algorithms for wireless ad-hoc networks" but while speaking to a HR recruiter you may want to limit it to wireless communication and algorithms.
  3. The key benefit of of your work vs. the state of art, or, why should anyone be excited about what you do.
Yep, thats it. Remember, people may not have more than 30 seconds so make sure to deliver your pitch in that time-frame. A good first impression can open a lot of doors. Make the elevator pitch your walking verbal resume.

1 comment:

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