By Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan
What we call today “Elevator Pitch” is what once was a simple introduction. The term refers specifically to what you would say to someone about you and your added value if you were in an elevator with them for a minute, before getting to your floor. In today’s competitive job market, having an outstanding elevator pitch can make all the difference in the world. It can attract parties that otherwise might not be compelled to connect with you. Elevator Pitches can help you create personal brand recall, supporting you to position yourself favorably in the mind of a decision maker.
Let’s start by defining the term: an Elevator Pitch is a brief – 30-second statement that defines who you are, what is your profession or business, and the benefit of your services. In other words, it is a positioning statement that informs others of your stance and added value.
The essence of an Elevator Pitch, however, also involves the context in which we deliver it. When communicating our pitch, we need to understand who is our target audience and if they are ready to receive it. We might be distracted trying to get a business card out, or focusing on ourselves, when the other party might be providing a message. We also must develop several elevator pitches, one for each type of audience, and one that will prove compelling specifically for each receiver.
It seems not so hard to do, however, keep in mind that Elevator Pitches are not necessarily directed to a friend of your grandmother, they are to be delivered to people that could open doors for you in your job search or to enhance your business development process.
Here are some guidelines on how to prepare a compelling elevator pitch:
1- Learn what differentiates you from the crowd. This is the first step in creating a good elevator pitch. Understand your uniqueness, traits, passions and values. For this, personal branding is a great tool which will support you in developing a vision, mission and unique promise of value, which should be essential parts of your pitch.
2- Use the added value you bring any company through your services in the beginning of the pitch. Instead of saying: “I have been developing marketing strategies for 20 years”, say “I have generated seven figures in revenues through marketing strategies developed in the last 20 years”. Bring focus to the achievement, which is what differentiates you from other job seekers and business people.
3- Make it exciting for you to say. Once determining your passions and values, add them to your pitch to ensure that when you communicate it, it increases your blood rate and visibly rises your energy level. Show your enthusiasm when giving your elevator pitch, an easier task to master if it truly is compelling to you.
4- Be specific about your achievements and goals. Create different pitches for different industries and occupations, if you have several. Keep it as simple as possible, while communicating enough information to create the need of more.
5- Practice saying it out loud – practice often. This is one case where practice can make perfect.
6- Make sure to have business cards to accompany the elevator pitch. If you have delivered the pitch and do not have supporting materials to make the next move, you will no longer look as professional as you did when delivering the pitch (or could loose the opportunity to connect).