“Have a nice day”, I love New York Tee shirts, Canary Yellow Cabs, and Elevator pitches. Being a true Brit my instant feelings towards an elevator pitch is clear – a collision of Anglo-American culture that is hard for everyone in Britain to instantly align themselves with. Admittedly, the benefits that can come from a smooth, well-groomed few lines of self-promotion are effectively limitless but it takes courage and practice.
The brief is simple, you walk into an elevator (lift for us Brits) and you meet your future employer or future business partner – someone who could change your life considerably – even if they don’t know it yet.
One important aspect is that it doesn’t have to be an elevator to make this pitch and I would also advise against dwelling in a lobby as you may get some strange looks or even some kind of injunction. You have two options either let the opportunity walk away or take those moments of coincidence to deliver a brief, snappy, memorable introduction regarding your person. Simple! However, this is when the palms start to sweat, you get the shakes or your stomach is growling for lunch, brunch or even elevenses. STOP! Always run with the ethos that not only does practice make perfect it also makes permanent.
Spend time practicing your pitch before it is released into the world. Remember elevators are small places and usually when moving only has one place to go – through the ceiling and that isn’t easy. Take some time to learn your words and don’t feel odd about practicing in front of other people or in front of a mirror.
Content is king
I always find that the use of a mind map is a great way of working on getting my ideas from my brain onto paper and then they breed to concepts and ideas. Only your mother or your Gran wants to hear your life story so keep it relevant and don’t get stuck in the details. The total time you have to deliver your lines is anywhere in the region of 1-3 minutes. Sell yourself, what can you do that no one else can – introduce any unique selling points you possess. Don’t be afraid of telling them your achievements especially if you’re involved in sales – tell them how much money you could make them.
Stand and deliver
A balance is needed – don’t come across too scripted and monotone, saying that don’t come across too flamboyant. Unless you are industry that requires either of those character traits but generally speaking stay in that middle range. Enthusiasm is important; if you can’t be enthusiastic about yourself no one will be able to.
One of the most important things you own is your name – use it twice in the opening sentence. When introducing myself I always say hi, my name is Benjamin, Benjamin Eddy. I do this to increase the likelihood of my name sticking in the head of those being pitched.
Once you are confident using it, I would always do it in front of a colleague or friend who you are happy taking constructive criticism from so you have a feedback loop that helps to develop your pitch further. I would recommend that everyone has this up there sleeve, you never know when you get the opportunity to advance your career, business situation
Remember, this is your door way to potentially a greener more prosperous future so take it seriously and nail it.
Benjamin Eddy is an SAP recruitment professional working at RED, you can find him on LinkedIn.
Related: How To Create Your Memorable Elevator Pitch [4 Simple Steps]. Image: Shutterstock