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Career Toolkit

What Makes A Good Bison Pitch?

For instructors and students to use as a learning guide in the classroom.

The Office for Career Success, in consultation with Gallaudet Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, has developed a video module explaining what elements go into an elevator pitch (or "Bison Pitch," as referred to throughout this toolkit and in the video). There are student, staff, and alumni actors appearing in fictional scenarios throughout the video. Instructors have the option of using Activity Prompts to guide class dialogue and activities.

The learning content in the video module and this toolkit is aligned with NACE Competencies, Gallaudet Student Learning Outcomes, and Gallaudet Undergraduate Career Milestones. Scroll through the page to navigate module videos and activity prompts step by step.

Bison Pitch Video

Bison Pitch Module Video

Activity Prompts

There are 40 activity prompts in this toolkit. They are intended to be used as a starting point for discussion, assessment, and practice. They can be modified in any number of ways. Different colors signify different prompts. 

Blue activity prompts guide discussion. Students and staff can facilitate interactive dialogue in small or large groups.

Brown activity prompts guide assessment. Students and staff can test their comprehension.

Gold activity prompts guide application. Students and staff can apply their knowledge and skills.

Activity Prompts

DISCUSS

Describe an elevator pitch you made (or observed) in the past.

DISCUSS

Where might an elevator pitch happen? Include expected and unexpected settings.

DISCUSS

What commercials have you seen that included amazing pitches? What made them appealing?

DISCUSS

You hate chocolate. You think it is gross. But you need to sell chocolate bars for your club. How do you overcome this challenge?

ASSESS

What elements do you think makes a good elevator pitch?

ASSESS

What is a real and current problem in your life that you would love to receive a Bison pitch about? 

ASSESS

Have you seen a bad solution implemented somewhere? Why was it solution a bad idea, and how could it have been avoided? 

ASSESS

You do not know anything about your potential employer but they are in your dream line of work. What do you do to overcome this challenge?

DISCUSS

You do not enjoy selling or persuading, or you do not think you are good at it. 
What do you do to overcome this challenge? 

ASSESS

Why is it important to identify the problem correctly? How can this impact the whole success of your Bison pitch? 

APPLY

Grab an item from your room and give a mock bison pitch about how this item can save the world from an asteroid collision.

APPLY

Offer two completely different solutions in your Bison Pitch. How do they affect your delivery? 

APPLY

Practice making an elevator pitch through an interpreter. What strategies would you do differently, and how? 

APPLY

Introduce yourself and summarize your entire life story in thirty seconds or less.

APPLY

You bump into the Chair of your university's Board of Trustees. You really want funding for your dream (and expensive) project.

DISCUSS

What can happen if you and the target audience have a different idea of what the problem is? 

DISCUSS

Why do you think you should avoid discussing too much about your hobbies, using cliche phrases or sharing personal information? 

DISCUSS

Can you think of how YOU add value to your classroom? To your university? 

DISCUSS

"Megan" makes a poor Bison Pitch for the SBG position. If you know a very strong candidate with poor pitch skills, how might this alone affect their success? 

ASSESS

List different audiences you would encounter across different settings, and how you might modify your approach with each.

ASSESS

How might personal bias influence your Bison Pitch?

ASSESS

Develop a simple rubric for measuring a Bison Pitch.

ASSESS

Evaluate how effective your rubric is by asking a classmate to use it with another classmate's mock Bison Pitch. 

APPLY

Give an impromptu five-minute presentation on your favorite topic! This is not a pitch, but an opportunity to practice your communication skills.

APPLY

You unexpectedly bump into the chief recruiter of your dream company. There is no interpreter around, and you both speak different languages.

APPLY

Find a long news article and summarize its highlights in thirty seconds or less. 

APPLY

Deliver your Bison Pitch twice, using a different language each time. Does this change the nature of your Bison Pitch? 

DISCUSS

What non-verbal language may go into a good Bison Pitch?

ASSESS

Review the scenarios in the video. Identify other ways these Bison Pitches could be improved.

APPLY

Reenact one of the scenarios with your classmate.

DISCUSS

"Karina" makes a poor opening. What are some creative openings you can use to introduce yourself at a Internship and Job Fair? 

ASSESS

Find a popular commercial on the Internet. Identify the problem, value and action.

APPLY

You really want funding for your dream (and expensive) project. Somehow you step into an elevator with the University's president.

DISCUSS

"Jeremy" fumbles his Bison Pitch with Sachiko Flores. What are some ways to do homework on your dream employer? 

ASSESS

What are some examples of "Call to Action" you can use while engaging with a prospective employer?

APPLY

Team up with your classmates to deliver a Bison Pitch with your Provost as the target audience.

DISCUSS

What are additional strategies you can use to build confidence? 

ASSESS

Why is the ability to deliver a good Bison Pitch part of your lifelong career learning journey?

APPLY

Practice different ways to phrase your "call to action" at an internship and job fair.

DISCUSS

What leadership qualities help make a Bison Pitch effective?

Gallaudet Bison Tank: Two people standing side by side
BisonPitch SLO

How does this toolkit address these Student Learning Outcomes?

Student Learning Outcomes

Gallaudet Scholar Student Learning Outcomes: Bilingual, career ready, critical thinkers, digitally aware, ethical, global citizens, science literate, and wellness grounded

BILINGUAL

Use American Sign Language (ASL) and written English to communicate effectively with diverse audiences for a variety of purposes.

CAREER READY

Engage in theoretical and experiential learning to develop career decision-making skills and competencies.

CRITICAL THINKERS

Think critically and innovatively, and express creatively, making connections within and across disciplines.

DIGITALLY AWARE

Employ data and technology in effective, competent, fair, accountable, transparent, and responsible (ethical) ways.

ETHICAL

Formulate reasoned decisions about ethical issues that lead to wise action.

GLOBAL CITIZENS

Articulate knowledge of intersectional identities within a global society and demonstrate intercultural knowledge, cultural competence, and skills in constructive civic discourse on the local, national, and global levels.

SCIENCE LITERATE

Evaluate evidence derived from a systematic analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to address issues that pertain to the experiences of individuals in societies.

WELLNESS GROUNDED

Recognize how choices can transform health, well-being, and ability to thrive; seek support and utilize resources for personal growth; and work collaboratively to promote wellness on campus and within oneself.

BisonPitch CareerMilestones

CAREER ARTICULATIONS

Gallaudet students will articulate their skills, experiences, and achievements.

CAREER COMPETENCIES

Gallaudet students will develop success competencies related to their future aspirations.

CAREER CONNECTIONS

Gallaudet students will have the chance to interact meaningfully with employers and alumni.

CAREER EXPERIENCES

Gallaudet students will gain experiential learning experiences tied to their career goals.

CAREER REFLECTIONS

Gallaudet students will plan and reflect on their career journey across their academic curriculum.

How does this toolkit address these career milestones?

Career Milestones

Gallaudet Career Milestones: Career articulations, competencies, connections, experiences, and reflections
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