Confident Leader

Elevator pitch: 5 tips to sell yourself brilliantly

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1. Craft a flawless oral resume to propel your career.

Coming up with the right words to sum up your entire professional portfolio in 30 seconds or less is a tall order. And keeping your cool as you try not to ramble on is as much an acquired skill as formulating your pitch is. But in order to effectively drive up your hireability factor when it comes to networking, interviewing, or simply impressing others, you’ll need to have your pitch on immediate recall at all times. As you draft and practice your elevator pitch(es), consider these points.

2. Have a couple of pitches ready

Different scenarios may call for slightly different pitches. You can choose to emphasize different aspects of your pitch as you see fit, like your work in the non-profit sector or an achievement you are especially proud of. Another thing to consider is that you may need a different pitch for different audiences. If your profession is jargon-heavy, try to prepare a version that makes it more accessible to outside-industry folks. You can even come up with an extended version if the person you’re talking to is keen to hear more (as may happen in a traditional job interview).

3. Check your body language

Part of your elevator pitch is confidence. This can be communicated a few ways, such as through the content of your pitch or your tone and volume, or through your body language. Postures like crossed arms with a bit of a slouch won’t help your cause and may even distract from what you’re saying. Instead, aim to stand up straight as to emphasize pride in your professional accomplishments. Avoid fidgeting or moving about nervously. If you need something to do with your hands, you can gesticulate as you talk or hold a drink or attaché (depending on the scenario).

4. Communicate your goals

If you limit your elevator pitch to your past work experience, you also limit the kinds of offers that may come your way. This is particularly true if you have a lot of experience in one field, but want to switch careers. You need to make your forward-thinking clear, as this is the part of the pitch most akin to an ‘ask.’ Though you might not specifically ask for a job, you will let others know that you’re looking. So clearly communicate your goals once you’ve outlined your skills, experiences, and/or motivations.

5. Practice your pitch on neutral parties

Use your friends and family or colleagues as sounding boards before you go public with your elevator pitch. Ask them for their honest feedback and use it to fine-tune your pitch. Once you have the content perfected, your next challenge is to make it sound like a natural part of the conversation. If it sounds rehearsed, your listeners will be able to tell and it may distract from your message.

For the times when your elevator pitch goes well and you leave your listener wanting to hear more, consider having a few extra talking points lined up. Incorporate a story, too. Telling a fun and memorable narrative is a great way to stand out. And if your pitch doesn’t go well, don’t sweat it. The worst that could happen is that nothing comes of it. Just keep practicing and occasionally revising, and you will eventually have it down.

About Sophia Mest

Sophia Mest is a Content Manager at BizDb, where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature. Follow her on Twitter @MestSophia

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