By Celeste DeCamps
Here’s a great mental workout that will also boost your professional stock: Learn to introduce yourself in 30 seconds.
Whether you’re looking for a job or attending a networking event, you should have a 30-second elevator pitch in your back pocket. This quick commercial, spotlighting you, is the best way to garner someone’s interest so that he or she will want to know more about you and your service. Here are five tips to think about when you are putting together your elevator pitch:
Just the facts. Write down the answers to these questions: Who are you? What do you do? What benefits do you offer? Who is your ideal customer? It’s important to remember that as much as this is an introduction of yourself, it’s also a chance for you to show how you are going to make someone else’s life better.
For example, “Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. As a speech coach, I help people have more fun standing in front of an audience. I am always looking for people who need help delivering their message.”
Be specific. You don’t have time to recite your whole résumé. Write down your major accomplishments and your specific skill set, and then look at your list and take out any unnecessary words. The best way to do this is to read it out loud. Grab a friend and go over it with her. While you should memorize your pitch, it needs to come across naturally. The more you practice and fine tune, the smoother your message will be. You want to sound conversational, not like an infomercial.
Write your headline. When you feel you have a solid 30-second commercial, try to make it 15 seconds. You won’t always have time to say everything you want, so your best bet is to say enough to get someone’s attention. Hopefully, that person will ask for your business card and inquire about your services. For example, “Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. I will help you deliver your message with confidence.”
Be confident. Before you meet someone, check your posture. Walk in the room with your head up and your shoulders back. When you shake the person’s hand, smile and look him in the eyes. When you introduce yourself, be upbeat and speak clearly.
Listen carefully. As much as you want to talk about yourself, take time to hear what the other person is saying. The more you pay attention to her wants and needs, the better chance you have of addressing her concerns. If she feels that you are genuinely listening to her, the more she will want to engage with you. A connection can form fairly quickly when two people respect each other’s ideas.
Working on an elevator pitch takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. It gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and gives people an insight into what you can offer. You never know when you’ll meet someone who can give you the chance of a lifetime.
Celeste DeCamps is the co-founder of Authentic Voice. Twice a month she and Michele Marshall help people find their voice and their message through lectures and interactive workshops. For more information, visit Meetup. com/Authentic-Voices. See ad on page 9.