Friday, January 7, 2011

Creating a Terrific Elevator Pitch

At an industry networking event, you’ve managed to meet a person of influence who happens to work for one of your prospective target employers. You have just a few captive minutes to make a positive first impression and to pitch why you would be a great addition to that organization. With some advance planning and practice, you can be prepared and ready to shine.

Let the ideas flow: Emphasizing action verbs, write down what you do in several different ways. Describe what you do for others. Use language to create a visual and combine the best thoughts together. Rather than “I am a marketing manager in the automotive industry,” say, “I understand the intricacies of the automotive market and create ideas and solutions for decision makers.” Remember to ask yourself, “Why am I making this pitch and what do I want from it?” Maybe you want a formal interview, a referral, or an exchange of business cards. Be sure to specify what you want.

Tell a story: Using those action verbs and keeping your goal in mind, weave what you do into a short story. This is not the time to rattle off your resume. Instead, leave your audience with a memorable snapshot of the best you have to offer.

Practice and record: Practice and record your pitch until it sounds natural, making improvements as you go. Timing your pitch is also important, as you will want to keep it between 30 and 60 seconds.

Make sure you come across as likeable and credible. Leave your audience wanting to hear more.

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