Produced with Scholar
Icon for Pitch Perfect: Acing Your Self-Introduction

Pitch Perfect: Acing Your Self-Introduction

Learning Module



Objectives of Module

This module is designed for college students who want to have a pitch/self-introduction that is persuasive and engaging for job opportunities. The learning objectives of this module is for students to:

  • Provide good first impressions.
  • Demonstrate qualifications and potential contributions to the institute/organization.
  • Present what is unique about the student.


Structure of Module

The module is divided into 8 sections. The first 4 sections consist of activities that would help students think about their pitches/self-introductions:

Students will begin in Week 1 exploring their interests, skills, and values, as these understandings about oneself will be both the compass directing their career search and the source for creating a unique pitch/self-introduction. In Week 2, students will explore career options and learn more about job requirements and the organizations to know their audiences better and get a sense for the careers they might be interested in reality. The activities in Week 3 will help them to assess if their experiences might be suitable for the opportunities through connecting what they have done with the skills and background that the job postings are looking for. For Week 4, a comprehensive collection of Do's and Don'ts during interviews are presented for the students as a resource for them to revisit when preparing for these formal occasions.  

The second 4 sections provide activities for students to draft, practice, and revise two versions of pitches/self-introductions (1 minute and 30 second). For Week 5 and 6 students will draft their pitches/self-introductions while learning about ways to improve their drafts from peer discussion and review. In Week 7, students will revised their pitches according to the feedback they received, and in Week 8, they will record and share their presentations of both the longer and shorter version of their pitches/self-introductions just as as if they were in the formal settings. Feedback will also be given by peers for the final presentations.
All of the sections can be revisited, and activities can be repeated for different job opportunities. This module is designed to provide a general structure on how pitches/self-introductions can be prepared and opportunities to practice the pitches/self-introduction. Students will learn about themselves and targeted organizations and job positions, as well as how to present and deliver themselves in a formal setting. Self assessment and peer assessment/feedback are used for students to gain self-confidence and directions of improvement through self-reflections and discussions.

Let'st get started!

Week 1: Knowing about Yourself

It might be a bit daunting to create materials for job applications from scratch, since there is more than one way to present oneself, but there are no absolutely right or wrong answers for these preparations that could lead to either getting accepted/hired or not. Luckily, there are some general steps you can take and some general principles you can follow to create a good impression for the employer. Let's begin by knowing about yourself a bit more in depth and breadth.

For Students:

Brainstorming about Your Past Experience

Reflect on your past experiences, and on a piece of paper (or more), write down everything you might want to include about yourself. You can include: education, coursework, jobs, internships, activities, skills, honors, publications, languages, study abroad experiences and community service projects. Write down everything that comes to mind.

Explore Your Interests, Skills, and Values

1. Start here to see why it is important to know who you are before preparing for your pitch.

2. Then complete the following assessments on your interests, skills, and values.

3. Compare the interest and value assessment results with what you have brainstormed. Summarize any themes that emerge.

4. Try to answer each of these questions in a couple of sentences:

  • What are your interests?
  • What are you good at?
  • What are your values?

For Teachers:

Objective: For students to explore and reflect on their thoughts and experiences to gain a better understanding of their own wants and needs for the next step in their career. It is important to mention to students that values, interests, and skills change and grow, so the reflecting process is worth repeating throughout one's life. 

Rationale: Recognizing one's interests, skills, and values can help focus and narrow career options. Greater self-confidence can be also gained in addition to the knowledge gained from the self-assessments.

Assessment: Self-assessment

*Note: The assessments used in the module will be for formative purposes, mainly to collect feedback from peers or the instructor to improve the final version of the pitch. For a few of the weeks the activities require a lot of self-reflection (e.g. Week 1 & Week 7), so peer discussion would not be the best format because the reflections might be very personal.

Resources: Do What You Are 

Week 2: Knowing about Organizations and Positions

Now you know a bit more about yourself, it is critical that you also know about your audience--the people who will be listening to and make decisions on your pitch. Doing research to collect information about the organizations and job descriptions is our next step. To begin with, here is a clip on why you need to know your audience:

Media embedded May 13, 2017


For Students:

1. Use What can I do with this Major? as a resource to identify the career types you are interested in.

2. Brainstorm some keywords that might be in the job description that you would be interested in.

3. Use the career types and keywords to search on job boards (e.g. Indeed, LinkedIn, Idealist, etc.) for postings and find 3 job posting that you would apply for.

4. Make an update containing the following information about the 3 job post and their organizations (1-3 sentences per bullet point would be sufficient). 


  • History
  • Mission
  • Culture and structure of organization
  • Recent news or press release about the organization
  • Accomplishments to the field or industry

Job Posting:

  • Job title
  • responsibilities
  • required skills
  • desired skills
  • place in organization

5. Read and comment on three other people's updates.

For Teachers:

Objective: For students to practice identifying potential job opportunities and to extract and summarize useful information from lengthy descriptions.

Rationale: Learning about the positions and organizations prepares students to tailor their self-introductions to the employer' interests. The training to be succinct is useful for building their short pitches. 

Assessment: NA


Helping Your Student Make Informed Career Decisions


Week 3: Connecting the Dots between You and the Opportunity


You now have the main ingredients for your pitch from Week 1 and 2. We are going to connect the dots between your experiences and skills and the job post this week. Giving an example of an experience where you demonstrate a skill is one of the best ways to be persuasive and and create a unique impression for the employers. 

For Students:

1. Pick one job description from Week 2 that you are most interested in applying for. 

2. Recall 6 stories that highlight your skills or experiences relevant to the job description. e.g. The stories could demonstrate your communication skills, leadership abilities, and other soft skills.

Here is how you can structure each of your stories:

The C.A. R. Method
Context: Describe briefly the situation and what the task and goals were. Give information so that the audience have enough back ground knowledge, but be specific and succinct. Ask yourself: Are all these information necessary for the audience to know?

Action: Describe what you did to address the situation. This is probably the most meaty part of your story. Ask yourself: What specific step did to take? If you were a team member, what was your specific contribution?

Result: describe the outcome of your actions. Be comfortable with taking credit for your success and sharing your accomplishments with the audience. 

3. Pair up with a partner and take turns in the following activity:

a. First share a quick summary of your job description.

b. Then present three of your stories and give feedback to each other. While listening to your partner's stories, make notes about what you are hearing. You can use the rubric below to help you give constructive feedback on your partner's talk. 


  • Was the context providing enough background to understand the situation?
  • Did the answer included anything you didn't understand?
  • Were there any details that could have been deleted?


  • Was the action described clearly?
  • What did you view as the most important skill demonstrated in the action described?


  • Was the result of the action articulated?

For Teachers:

Objective: For students to connect their unique experiences to the job requirements, hear how their peers are delivering themselves and learn from others' experiences and feedback.

Rationale: The C.A.R. methods helps students stay focused and structured when describing their experiences. Tailoring to specific job descriptions allows student to see whether or not they are a good fit, or that there are still skills or knowledge that can be improved on or gained.

Assessment: peer assessment


Week 4: Minding the Logistics

You have worked hard in the past 3 weeks exploring your potentials and future career options, documenting your past experiences, and making the connections. This week we are going to give our brains a break, but still learn about important logistics for delivering your self-introduction. Read on!

For Students:

What are you going to wear?


How are you going to act?


If you are not giving your pitch in person but using telephone or Skype, here is what you need to be attentive to:


1. Study through this set of flash cards about other logistics of interviews.

2. Then take the quizzes to see how much you have learned.

3. Make an update on:

  • What aspects of the logistics do you feel you need to work on?
  • Specific steps on how you are going to improve in those aspects.

4. Read and comment on three other people's posts.

For Teachers:

Objective: For students to learn about how to present themselves in a formal setting.

Rationale: Awareness and practice of how to demonstrative professional appearance beforehand will ease students' stress when they are in the real situation to create a better impression.

Assessment: information/knowledge survey in the form of Quizlet

ResourcesYour Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Week 5: Your Pitch in 60 seconds

It's time to be creative and showcase yourself in one minute! Draft your self-introduction after watching this clip for tips. 

Media embedded May 8, 2017



For Students:

1. Use anything from Week 1 to 4 to be a source for your self-introduction. Here are some questions that can help you get started:

- Who are you?

- What do you do?

  • What do you offer?
  • What problem of the company do you solve?
  • Why are you the best?
  • What is the one thing you want the listener to walk away knowing?

- What do you want?

  • Why their company?
  • What should the listener do after hearing your pitch?

2. Write down your pitch (max. 150 words)
3. Form groups of 4. Pair up with a partner within the group and take turns in saying your pitch out loud (60 seconds).
4. Give feedback to each other. While listening to your partners' pitches, make notes about what you are hearing. Also make notes about the feedback you received (we will be using these feedback in Week 7).

5. Repeat procedures 3 & 4 until everyone in the group has received feedback from each other.

For Teachers:

Objective: To create positive impression and attract interest for more conversation.

Rationale: It is important for students to understand that if they don’t sell themselves (through displaying communication skills, building relationships, and demonstrating their value in their self-introductions), no one else will.

Assessment: peer-assessment

Resources: Youtube

Elevator Pitch Review Rubric


Week 6: Your Pitch in 30 seconds

Sometimes you have to make a spiel about yourself when there is very little time (e.g. at a busy conference where the person you want to talk to is surrounded by many others, actually meeting someone in the elevator, etc.). So this is what we are going to work on this week: condensing your pitch so that you can catch others' attention in 30 seconds. Draft your short self-introduction after watching these two clips for tips. 

Media embedded May 8, 2017
Media embedded May 8, 2017


For Students:

1. Use anything from Week 1 to 5 to be a source for your self-introduction. Here is one way to help you get started:

Write a 3 sentence summary of who you are, how you got where you are, and where you want to go from here.

If you are feeling stuck, try this:
"I'm someone who _____. I've done _____. And I am excited to do _____in the future because ______."

2. Write down your pitch.
3. Form groups of 4 (you should not be with the same people as in Week 5). Pair up with a partner within the group and take turns in saying your pitch out loud (30 seconds).
4. Give feedback to each other. While listening to your partners' pitches, make notes about what you are hearing. Also make notes about the feedback you received (we will be using these feedback next week).
5. Repeat procedures 3 & 4 until everyone in the group has received feedback from each other.

For Teachers:

Objective: To create positive impression and attract interest for more conversation.

Rationale: It is important for students to understand that if they don’t sell themselves (through displaying communication skills, building relationships, and demonstrating their value in their self-introductions), no one else will.

Assessment: peer-assessment


Elevator Pitch Review Rubric


Week 7: Revising Your Pitches

Making revisions helps you crystallize your ideas and strengthen aspects of your pitch. We are going to make use of the feedback from the past 2 weeks to improve you pitches.

For Students:

1. Organize the feedback that you have received in Week 5 and Week 6 and respond to these questions below:

  • What was challenging about saying your pitches?
  • What was surprising about the feedback you received?
  • What did you learn about listening to your partners that affected how to do yours?
  • How did your pitches change from paper to speech?

2. Revise the 2 versions of your self-introduction to address the feedback that is constructive and helpful.

3. Then practice these two pitches enough to be unpracticed/authentic.

4. Self-confidense is a skill that can be trained. You would definitely need this when deliverying your pitch. Watch this clip for tips:

Media embedded May 13, 2017


For Teachers:

Objective: For students to enhance their self-introductions and be more familiar with what they will be presenting to others. 

Rationale: Studies have shown that students comprehend peer comments better than expert comments because they are more in each others' shoes, sensing their peers' difficulties, and therefore are better at spotting and analyzing problems more effectively from their perspectives (Cho & MacArthur, 2010; Yu & Wu, 2013). 

Assessment: NA

- Cho, K., & MacArthur, C. (2010). Student revision with peer and expert reviewing.
Learning and Instruction, 20, 328-338.
- Yu, F.-Y., & Wu, C.-P. (2013). Predictive effects of online peer feedback types on
performance quality. Educational Technology & Society, 16(1), 332–341.

Week 8: Final Presentation

Remember how lost you might have felt 7 weeks before? This week we are going to integrate all that we have learned and tried so far into a final presentation. Are you ready?

For Students:

1. Review the logistics from Week 4.

2. Dress in the clothes that you will be wearing in the formal setting.

3. Record yourself giving the pitch (make sure sound and image are both clear) and upload your clip on to our class Youtube channel (which is shared only amongst the instructor and the students).

4. Watch 5 pitches that you have not heard before. Click on the link (this is an example Google form) below each video to provide feedback to the speaker.


You are doing way better than this person in the picture. Give yourself a BIG pat on the back!


For Teachers:

Objective: For students to demonstrate what they have accomplished over the 8 weeks of work and receive affirmation and suggestions for improvements.

Rationale: A sense of accomplishment and a direction to work towards to are motivating elements for students who are testing the waters or preparing for their job search.

Assessment: peer-assessment

Resources: Youtube, Google sheets

Elevator Pitch Review Rubric