If you've ever had a job or internship, or know someone who's had a job or internship in Corporate America, then you've likely heard of the concept of the elevator pitch.
The elevator pitch stems from the idea that you should be prepared to introduce yourself and give a summary of your professional accomplishments to the CEO of the company all during the time it takes to ride the elevator for a few flights up. Typically the pitch should be no longer than 30 seconds and has the connotation of being all business and very stuffy.
Since the likelihood of you being trapped in an elevator with a C-level exec is pretty slim, however, the concept has been revamped in recent years and we millennials have renamed it the personal pitch.
Personal pitch is based on the same exact premise as the elevator pitch, except it's been adapted to be used in all situations where you have to introduce yourself and showcase your talents - not just in an elevator.
Here are 6 super easy ways to perfect your pitch today!
1. Get clear on what your personal pitch is and what it isn't. Your pitch is a short and sweet summary of who you are, what you do and why you're awesome. It is not a free pass to go through your entire personal and professional biography. Be thoughtful and strategic about what you include in your pitch.
2. Put it down on paper. Once you're clear on the purpose of your pitch, get everything out your head and down on paper. For now, don't worry about how long it is - you can edit it later. Focus on what you do well, your top skills, your career goals and your professional motivation.
3. Look at sample pitches from other people. A simple google search on 'elevator pitch' will turn up hundreds of examples of pitches for all different industries. Take a look at no less than 10 of them and highlight what you like and don't like about them. Model yours on a format or tone that speaks to you.
4. Edit. Now that you have your content and format, rework your pitch into your own words. Focus on letting your audience know what's in it for them. You should be sharing what makes you unique and how that uniqueness can add value to their company, team, volunteer group, etc.
5. Have someone you trust take a look at your pitch and give you feedback. Is your pitch clear and concise? Easy to understand? Your goal should be to construct your pitch in plain English. Avoid convoluted industry jargon or acronyms that the average person wouldn't understand.
6. Practice. Practice. Practice. Take every opportunity to deliver your pitch to someone new. Remember, your personal pitch shouldn't be tucked away in the hopes that one day you will get your chance to be stuck in an elevator with the CEO (spoiler alert: it most likely will not happen), deliver your pitch at networking events, during an interview, to a new stakeholder on a project your working on and basically whenever you meet someone new in a professional setting.
Here's an example of my personal pitch:
Hi, my name is Dorianne St Fleur and I consider myself a hybrid HR professional. I have a solid foundation in the Financial Services industry, with a number of years in Operations and Human Resources where I have developed a knack for motivating others to produce their best work. In addition to my corporate experience, I am the owner of KIR Consulting Group, a career coaching boutique dedicated to building the careers of millennial women. My goal is to use my expertise in career development to help my clients navigate the beast that is Corporate America and turn their careers up to the next level.
Remember, the entire point of a personal pitch is to give your audience a reason to care about you and what you are saying. Leave them wanting to know more about you by being authentic and memorable.
BONUS: Take a stab at updating your own pitch and when you're done, email me your pitch at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE critique.
Looking forward to hearing from you!