The elevator speech. You are probably familiar with the term. It is most commonly used to describe the concise 60-second speech that business owners and executives, as well as salespeople, use to describe their business, product, or service to others. More importantly, it is a speech that is delivered in a compelling way that describes what is unique about the business (or offering), describes the benefits for the target market, and piques the interest of the listener.
So why should you, the job seeker and the career professional, care about the elevator pitch? If you are familiar with the concept of personal branding and the idea of leveraging your brand to advance and promote yourself in your career, I’m sure you immediately recognized the similarities between the above description of an elevator speech and a personal brand statement. .
Personal branding allows you to make a name for yourself. It sets you apart from your peers and helps you position yourself as a leader in your field, as a specialist and an authority who knows how to do a job and fill a particular niche in the workplace better than anyone else. A personal brand statement is a succinct statement that clarifies and communicates what makes you and your unique value proposition different and special.
Your personal brand statement will play an important role in your 60-second elevator pitch as a job seeker and career professional. Your entire elevator pitch will be a mini presentation that you can give on the go in response to those all-too-common “what do you do?” Questions. or “tell me about yourself?” With a precision approach, an effective elevator pitch will immediately convey to the listener who you are as a professional and will do so in a way that addresses not just your unique value proposition, but in a way that addresses your listener’s concerns. . Equally important, while your tone is planned and rehearsed, when you actually deliver it, it should sound completely natural and spontaneous, but it should leave the listener with a lasting, positive, and memorable impression. You will use your elevator pitch frequently, in networking situations, and during interviews.
But, once you recognize that creating an elevator pitch is essential, you may be intimidated at the prospect of creating and perfecting one. Certainly this is a task that your career coach or the professional you hired to create your resume can help with. However, with a little introspection and an honest self-assessment, developing your elevator pitch doesn’t have to be difficult. To get started, ask yourself these essential questions:
1. What is the focus of your search? What is your job goal?
2. Who is the person or people most likely to make a hiring decision about you?
3. What are the problems facing your target audience?
4. What do you offer that would solve these problems?
5. What is it that differentiates you and makes you different from your peers?
6. What are the benefits of your work as experienced by your target audience?
To create your elevator pitch, you now need to put all of these elements together into a short presentation that you can make quickly, in the time it would take you to get from floor to floor in an elevator.
As an example, here is my own “branded” elevator pitch that I developed to concisely describe my work as CEO of Distinctive Career Services.
“You know how some career professionals miss out on really great job opportunities, or don’t advance as fast in their careers as they’d like, or don’t get the compensation they deserve, all because they don’t really know how to differentiate themselves in their careers or effectively promote themselves in the world. working market?
Well, I am a career coach, personal brand strategist, and career marketer, one of the few people in the entire world with this unique combination of experience. In my internet-based and global business, I provide a combination of innovative products, programs and services that are delivered to six-figure and aspiring professionals, managers and executives. All of my offerings are specifically designed to empower my clients to effectively promote and market themselves, opening doors and enabling the potential to achieve their highest career ambitions and goals.
The benefits are that my clients drastically reduce the time and money they spend searching for employment, advance rapidly in their careers, increase their income, enjoy greater professional recognition, and generally establish themselves in careers that are more rewarding. professionally, financially and personally. “
Once you have the answers to the six simple questions above, you will have everything you need to create a similar elevator pitch for yourself. Do you see how I have taken my own answers to the questions and interspersed them throughout my presentation? I’ve clearly communicated who my target market is, I’ve identified the issues and challenges they face, I’ve conveyed how my offering is not only unique but solves those issues, and I’ve outlined the key benefits that my offerings produce.
You can use this same model to develop your own elevator pitch. But remember; don’t go into too much detail. Your goal is simply to spark interest and make yourself memorable. Don’t spend too much time on the details of your grades. Just quickly highlight them and relate how they benefit your target audience (current or future employer).
Once you’ve honed your tone, practice it, practice it, and practice it some more. Your goal is to make it sound completely natural. Rehearse in front of a mirror and be mindful of your body language and eye contact, as these aspects of communication often speak louder than words. Now, test your tone a few times and observe the listener’s response. Be open to the prospect of adapting and modifying as needed to get the response you want to generate. And, of course, be flexible. If your listener interrupts with a question, be ready to pause and answer it.
Creating your elevator pitch may take some time and thought, but it is a wise professional who invests in it! You will hear the “what are you doing?” or “tell me about yourself?” you ask over and over again, both during your job search and throughout your career. Don’t improvise it! Preparation is the key to confidence and the key to making a lasting, positive, and memorable first impression. The benefits to your career will be phenomenal. Worth it!