Argosy University Blog

4 Mistakes That Can Ruin an Elevator Pitch


The elevator pitch is one of your most important self-marketing tools. If you can master the art of quickly telling people who you are and what you do, you'll be able to gain the needed attention to get where you want to be.

When it's your chance to shine, avoid these crucial mistakes in your elevator pitch that can turn prospects off instead of on.

Mistake #1: Rushing through it

Elevator pitches are so named because they are supposed to be short and efficient; however, it's always better to take your time and just cover the highlights of your work, rather than hurrying through every little detail you think might be relevant.

The most common place you'll be giving an elevator pitch is not in an elevator, but at a business networking event where everybody is expected to stand, introduce themselves and tell the others who they are and what they do. In such cases, don't start talking as soon as you're called on. Instead, take a few seconds to stand up and get ready to speak. That way, your fellow business people will have the opportunity to switch their focus from the previous speaker to you.

Similarly, don't speak too quickly when giving your elevator pitch. People won't be able to understand what you're saying and you won't make a good impression.

Mistake #2: Lack of preparation

You never know when you may have the opportunity to present your elevator pitch. You may run into someone on the street, in a business meeting or at a coffee shop who is a perfect prospect for your business.

That's why it's vital to practice your elevator pitch at home before you ever use it. If you don't prepare in advance, one of two things will happen:

1. You'll stumble through it, peppering your speech with "ums," "ahs," "you knows" and other filler words.

2. You'll rush in an attempt to get it all in.

Neither of these approaches is a good thing. You need to ensure your speech is natural, exciting and interesting. You also don't want to appear unprofessional or look as though you lack confidence.

Mistake #3: Reciting a memorized speech

Some people get so nervous about the prospect of doing an elevator speech that they memorize a short paragraph about what they do. Unfortunately, when you memorize a speech, people can tell and it won't sound natural.

In addition, when you memorize a speech, you can't vary it in order to suit your audience. You don't want to give your speech exactly the same way every time you give it. You want to get the same basic ideas across while retaining interest and making connections with your audience.

Mistake #4: Providing your name first

Some people approach the elevator speech like this: "My name is John Smith and I'm from ABC Company." The problem with this is that you don't start off with anything of interest or value to your audience. It is much better to start the speech off with an interesting hook--a comment, question or quote that grabs a listener's attention--and then provide your name and the business name towards the end of the speech. That way, your audience pays attention and begins to see how you might be able to help them.

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7 Tips for Writing a Top-Notch Research Paper


Argosy University prides itself on giving students the support and guidance they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. As a student, your responsibilities will include writing multiple research papers, so today we present you to the following simple tips that can help you achieve success.

1. Plan Your Schedule – Create a timeline, and keep track of smaller goals. Sticking to this schedule is the first step in scoring high on your next paper.

2. Write About One Idea – Most research paper assignments allow students to choose their topic. To stay focused, pick a singular idea to write about. Just make sure that you can still find enough resources to write a full paper. For instance, if “Soda Pop’s Effect on Toddler Teeth” doesn’t have enough research to support 28 pages of writing, “Soda Pop and Your Health” might be a better choice.

3. Fine-Tune Your Thesis Statement – Think of your thesis statement like a movie pitch. It should succinctly sum up the point of your paper. Say upfront what you will prove, and make it sound interesting. Enthusiasm won’t prove your point, but it will make your paper easier to read (and write).

4. Use Reputable Resources – Trustworthy resources are the foundation of your paper. Consider whether something had to be fact-checked before being published. Sites backed by a good reputation – major news outlets, government websites, study abstracts and the like – are strongly preferred.

5. Organize Your Notes – Taking notes isn’t just for keeping track of direct quotes. You’ll be expected to say where general ideas come from as well. If a study finds that soda pop leads to increased addictive behaviors, for instance, you need to be prepared to reference it.

You'll also want to be able to separate important bits of information during the outline phase of writing. An effective way to do this is to use a word-processing software to list a source and compile your notes, so that you can later reorganize the information and highlight important pieces as needed.

6. Create Your Outline – Organize your research findings and your thoughts in a way that not only states your thesis, but supports it as well. If soda pop is bad for your health, you might discuss the amount that people drink, its contents and, finally, how it’s linked to medical problems. Your instructor may have certain rules for your outline or may not even require you to make one. Regardless of whether it’s part of your assignment, an outline is a great way to stay focused and keep your paper on track.

7. Write, Edit, Repeat – Expect to write or review at least three drafts of your paper. The first should be reviewed for continuity. The second should be evaluated for grammar and spelling. By the third draft, your research paper should be free from mistakes and should fully support your thesis statement.

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The Psychology of Love

What is it exactly that causes that intense desire to be as close to someone as possible, to pursue them, to delve into the depths of who they are? What gives us that giddy feeling, the desire to make some else happy? What causes love at first sight?

Psychologists have been studying romantic attraction and love at first sight to gain insights into what drives human beings to be together - and for good reason. Humans are compulsively and intensely attracted to some but not others, and at times these strong hormones have no regard for partnerships already cemented in place. This can cause quite a ruckus if jealousy comes into play, as it often does.

Many of us willingly spend a large portion of our paycheck on Valentine’s Day gifts to impress and woo our mates. It’s only natural to want to understand what it is that leads to ongoing flirtations, interests that fizzle out after the honeymoon phase, or lifelong, dedicated partnerships. Psychologists, too, experience love at first sight - no wonder they’re so curious!

How does love affect the brain? Or, perhaps, how does the brain affect love?

A recent study published in Psychoneuroendrocrinology found that oxytocin, a chemical whose presence is associated with pair bonding, is elevated during the initial stages of romantic attachment and stays elevated in couples who stay happily together for the long haul. In couples who’d been together for six months, high levels of oxytocin were “correlated with the couples' interactive reciprocity, including social focus, positive affect, affectionate touch, and synchronized dyadic states, and with anxieties and worries regarding the partner and the relationship.”

Also, consider dopamine, a chemical responsible for the ‘desire and reward’ drive. Dopamine is, in large part, responsible for that flood of pleasure we feel when successfully pursuing a new mate. Serotonin, the relaxation hormone, is responsible for keeping that special person on your mind; Deborah Khoshaba of Psychology Today reports that it decreases when first falling in love and leads to those anxious, obsessive mental repeats of your dates and encounters. To further add to this, adrenaline comes into play, making your heart gallop and your palms sweat.

Filling in the Blanks with Fantasy

So if you feel crazy, it’s alright - blame your hormones for making you loopy in love. However, realize many of the qualities we originally associate with our mates stem from our own imaginations as we fill in the blanks while getting to know them. Khoshaba advises, “You want to build an authentic relationship attachment rather than one based on fantasy alone.”

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  • 2018

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