Picture this: You’re headed into your first day of work at a new job, as an intern. You haven’t met anybody besides the person who interviewed and hired you, and the person you will be job-shadowing today. However, when the elevator door opens, and closes behind you, you realize you are locked in for some quick one-on-one time with the CEO of the company! How will you use these precious seconds?

This is where the concept of an “elevator speech” was developed. If you were given only 30 seconds (just about the time it takes to get from the bottom floor of a building to a floor near the top in an elevator) to introduce yourself and create a lasting impression on someone of importance to your future, you need to know exactly what to say! Let’s craft the perfect elevator speech for you to practice in case this ever happens to you.

Each of the following steps should take you 10 seconds or less to say. Provided will be a few sentence-starters to spark up some ideas that will work for your elevator speech.

Step One: Who are you?

What is your name and your current job title? It is important here not to babble about how you got where you are (i.e. what school you went to, where you’re from, etc.). This step is a quick introduction to who you are today, in this exact moment.

“Hi, I’m the new…”

“I don’t believe we’ve met. My name is ____ and I work for…”

“Good morning. I’m ______, the director of…”

Step Two: Who do you want to be?

Everyone starts working for a company with goals for progression in mind. What are yours? What are you doing now to contribute to the company’s development? What new ideas have you been brainstorming that may spike the interest of the CEO?

“I’ve been working on a marketing plan for the company that will eventually lead to…”

“My team and I have started implementing a new strategy for…”

“I’m working under _____ while training for my next position as director of…”

Step Three: How will you be remembered after this conversation?

You’ve already introduced yourself and grasped the attention of your CEO. This final step is where your impression will make its mark. What are you going to say in this moment that will keep your face relevant in your CEO’s mind? When they see you again, even if they don’t remember your name, what will you say right now that will make them forever remember your conversation? Let them know when they’ll see you again, or where they can look of they’d like to find you for any reason.

“Nice to finally meet you. I hope to chat with you again at next week’s meeting regarding…”

“That marketing plan should be finalized next month, I’ll be sure it crosses your desk…”

“I hope you’ll attend tomorrow night’s seminar, where I’ll be explaining, in more detail, the strategy we’ve put in place for…”

In a day and age where elevator rides are dreadfully quiet, nobody wants to chat or make eye contact, and we scroll aimlessly through or phones to offset the awkwardness, use that silence and your perfect elevator speech to make yourself distinct from the rest!