Your elevator pitch is a short and impactful introduction of yourself that you could flawlessly deliver during the time of an elevator ride. The idea is, imagine entering an elevator and meeting the one person that could take your career to the next level, what would you say? How would you make sure this person leaves with everything there is to know about you? How would you make sure they remember you once they exit the elevator?
Ideally, your elevator pitch will answer questions such as “Who I Am,” “What I Do,” “How I Do It,” “Why I Do It,” and “Who I Do It For.” All of that in under a minute! This is a great exercise in order to be able to answer the dreading question “What do you do” at any time, in any situation.
Here are 5 common mistakes people make when delivering their elevator pitch:
1. You don’t prepare it in advance
An elevator pitch is not something you can improvise on the spot. If left to a last minute strike of genius, chances are, you will freeze, forget your own name and end up talking about your cats.
An elevator pitch is a thoughtfully and carefully prepared introduction of your professional identity, your story, your unique selling points, your “why” and the value you can bring to a project, a team or an organisation.
It is something you think about, write down, rehearse in front of a mirror, test in real situations and adjust according the feedback you get.
2. You talk about your current situation rather than your professional identity
This is especially true for job seekers. When asked “What do you do?” they tend to start their reply with “Well, I’m not working right now/ I’m looking for an opportunity at the moment”.
The problem is that the moment you say that, you have lost the interest of the person in front of you.
This type of answer doesn’t describe you as a professional; it only describes your current situation. And let’s be clear, your current situation is not who you are, you are not defined by it!
Focus on who you are as a professional and say something like “I am a digital transformation expert with over 15 years of experience in the Telecom industry”
3. You don’t customise it to the person you are talking to
Although your elevator pitch should be prepared and rehearsed in advance, it is important to have different versions of it in order to capture the interest of anyone you might come across. Whether you are talking to a recruiter, an industry expert, a potential client or someone who could introduce you to a key player, your elevator pitch should be customised to their level of understanding and expectations. The technicality of your vocabulary, the names you drop, the examples you decide to share all may vary depending on the person in front of you.
4. You forget that people relate to stories, not fact!
When drafting your elevator pitch, it’s important to remember that people won’t remember what you said, they will remember how you made them feel. Therefore, don’t spend too much energy on delivering impressive facts and figures, and focus on delivering a story that people can relate to and identify with. In the end, although people ask you about what you do, what they really want to know is why you do what you do. Similarly, although they may ask you about what you did in the past, what they really want to know is how you can help them in the future.
5. You don’t include a call to action
Make sure you tell people what you want them to do, or what you are hoping to accomplish by introducing yourself. This will make your intentions clear and will help the conversation flow naturally. The last thing you want after delivering your pitch is to have someone staring at you thinking “ok, and so what?”. For example: “Would you mind if I set up a quick call next week for us to talk about any upcoming opportunities on your team? “ or “Would you mind telling me about any media planning needs you may have on the team?
Emeline Roissetter | Certified Career Coach | MomentuM Coaching & Consulting
Want to learn more about how to write your own elevator pitch and use it to build a powerful network? Check out my upcoming workshops on the topic or book a private coaching session with me! www.momentum-cc.com