Creating Your Elevator Pitch

July 23rd, 2013

The elevator pitch answers two questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What you want?

And you have thirty seconds to deliver your answer in a way that ensures you are remembered.

Fondly.

The value of a pitch

Pitches are a tool to succinctly share information.  What they are not is a thirty-second commercial, or an in-your-face branding advertisement. It isn’t a memorized list of your accomplishments.

The value of a pitch lies in the quality of the content and the delivery. Share your motivations and goals in such a way as to humanize you.

“Hi, I’m Chris Candidate. I’ve got a background in early childhood education. Have you ever seen a kid get excited about learning? I love being the one who turns on that light bulb.”

Creating a pitch

Forbes recommends crafting two pitches. “Craft one pitch for formal settings like job interviews and another version for social settings where you can do informal networking. The informal version should include several nuggets about your personal life.”

What you’re pitching isn’t as important is who you are pitching to. Every word should be specific to the person catching your pitch.

Pitches should not be static closed-ended forms of delivery. They should be open-ended. The bottom line is that a pitch is not successful unless it gets the conversation ball rolling.

Whenever possible, end with a call to action, a question, or an intriguing thought.

The final aspect of the pitch is practice. Practice so your pitch doesn’t sound practiced. It should be conversational, not technical, in tone and verbiage, and it should be used as a lead-in to encourage the person on the receiving end to respond.

The goal is to get the other person to ask you more about yourself. Then be prepared to converse.

When not to pitch

Not all situations call for an elevator pitch. A social event may be a great opportunity to network, but an official pitch is probably going to make the person you pitch feel awkward. You may actually alienate him.

Instead, be yourself.  Show genuine interest in the person you’re talking to. Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves. When the moment is ripe and the questions turn to you, subtly weave information about you into the conversation.

Save your practiced pitch for the next time you’re standing in the lunch line with the head of your department and they query, “You’re the new temp, right?” Or you’re at a tradeshow and an HR manager says, “Tell me about yourself.” That’s the perfect opportunity for a practiced elevator pitch that delivers your message and engages you with the person you are pitching.

Olympic’s pledge:  We match the best candidate with the best companies, and we get it right the first time. Contact us and let’s chat about how we can partner to make that happen.

 

 

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