Master your elevator pitch because five minutes face to face is better than five hours on Facebook.
You may have heard about elevator pitches–where you have to be prepared with a half-minute introduction in case you meet someone you want to connect with in an elevator--or anywhere else. There are two parts to the elevator pitch–the introduction and the pitch.
First comes the introduction.
The point of your introduction is to break the ice and generate interest. The introduction should be brief and engaging. Have your introduction ready whenever you meet someone so you don’t fumble around when someone asks you about yourself. The goal of your introduction is to encourage questions–How? Who? etc. Here are some examples
“I’m Pamela Kleibrink Thompson. I help creative people succeed.”
“I help people find their destinies.”
Here’s one about my writing to use at conferences such as the NAB Show:
“I’m Pamela Kleibrink Thompson. I bring attention to extraordinary people–some of whom don’t even know they’re extraordinary.”
If your introduction leads to further conversation, that’s the time for your half-minute elevator pitch.
To compose your pitch, make a list of your skills, talents and interests. List also ideas you are working on or are intrigued by. What makes you unique? What projects are you passionate about?
Create a list of unique phrases that describe you. Craft a compelling description of your qualifications. Sound authentic–write as you speak. Practice your pitch with friends and family. Ask for feedback. Do you sound fascinating? Friendly?
Here are two examples of elevator pitches. If some one asks me, “How do you help creative people succeed?” I answer “I have 30 years experience in visual effects, animation and games – working with top directors and artists - and I share the skills and secrets I’ve learned with my clients to help them succeed.”
Here’s a follow up to “bringing attention to extraordinary people.” “I write for magazines – print and online – with a worldwide audience, about people who are leaders and innovators in every specialty, from creating visual effects to marketing roller rinks.”
If your follow up is interesting, it will invite more questions and you will have initiated a professional conversation.
Remember to reciprocate. Be curious about the other person so he or she can talk about what’s important to him or her. Ask about his or her goals and aspirations. Determine how you can help solve his problems or help with her needs. Describe your value in terms of the other person’s priorities.
Don’t do a hard sell of yourself or your services. Rather than asking for business, offer to help.
Start a dialog – don’t dominate the conversation. It’s not all about you. If you can, ask the other person about himself or herself first so you can customize your introduction and pitch to their interests and needs.
Now you are ready to wow the people you meet in 30 seconds or less with a captivating introduction that will inform and enthrall. Remember practice makes perfect, so every new person you meet is a chance to improve.
First impressions are important; if you are able to introduce yourself concisely and entertainingly, you’ll be unforgettable.
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach specializing in helping creative people succeed. She also recruits for companies in visual effects, animation, games and design. She speaks at schools and conferences about networking, goal setting and the invisible resume. To reach her for recruiting or speaking engagements or for a private consultation to learn how to create a career you love, email PamRecruit@q.com.