There are many professional success stories that originate with the elevator pitch. Be it a coincidental encounter with the CEO of your dream job, or a potential partner for a new venture a great pitch can mean the beginning or the end of an opportunity.

At one point in our professional lives, many of us have heard the term “elevator pitch” or “selling yourself” but how exactly do you do that? Below are a few tips on how to create a personal pitch, so you will never miss an opportunity

1. Stay on topic
During your pitch, especially an elevator pitch you will have a very limited amount of time. Because of time constraints, it is very important to keep on topic, stick with the 5 W’s: who, what, where, when, and why!

2. Make it personal
There is no recipe to the perfect pitch. It is all about you, and showcasing the best qualities of either your project of your professional career. Remember that everyone has different qualities, so be sure to make your pitch as unique as you are.

3. Ask questions
When pitching, you want to make sure your audience be it one person or a group of people stay engaged. You can easily do this by asking questions. This strategy is an easy way to promote participation and make your pitch more of a conversation than a sale. 

4. Don’t over-explain
You want to leave them wanting more the only way to do that is by leaving some aspects to the imagination. If you over-explain that can lead to lack of interest. Once again, keep your pitch to the point!

5. Practice, practice, practice!
Pitching should not come off as a rehearsed speech, however, it should be very prepared. By having your overall pitch down you won’t be caught off guard if and when the time comes.

If you can follow these 5 tips, you will never be unprepared or miss an opportunity to advance your career. Make your pitch sound like a conversation, but one that highlights all of your best qualities and stays on topic!