Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 

YOU, IN 15 SECONDS

May 8, 2019

A powerful, personal elevator pitch
“What do you do?” is one of the most ubiquitous questions in our culture but the quality of your answer can spell the difference between a polite pivot and a powerful new connection. A polished, 15-second pitch enables you to present your skills and potential in a flattering light, pique a listener’s interest and demonstrate confidence, professionalism and preparation.
 
“Too often, we listen to messages from our inner critic telling us to downplay our strengths, be quiet or avoid interaction with someone at a more senior level,” explains Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., best-selling author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. “Creating a strong, personal elevator pitch can help you bypass that critic and enable you to deliver a powerful, confident snapshot of who you are and how you contribute in your organization.”
 
With that pitch in your back pocket, you can turn a 10-story elevator ride with the Senior Vice President into an opportunity to spotlight your potential, or open an interesting dialogue with a new colleague at a networking event. 
 
Putting it into words
Think of your personal elevator pitch like writing ad copy — choose every word with purpose and prune extraneous ones. In 15 seconds, you can comfortably speak about 35 words. Here are some ways to make them count.
 
Keep it simple and limit jargon.
You will engage listeners more quickly if they can understand what you’re saying without working too hard. It will also be much easier to remember and deliver your pitch, even in a stressful moment.
 
Focus on results
Rather than just stating a job title, share your results and your feelings. For example, instead of, “I’m an advertising manager,” you might say, “I make sure every promotion we run is supported by the right ads across the Northeast. I love it because it’s fast-paced and my role directly impacts sales and growth.”
 
Paint a picture
Choose colorful words that matter. You could say, “I’m an HR specialist” but how much more interesting if you said, “I search for the most talented and creative people to join our team.”
 
Practice and revise
Your pitch will be delivered out loud so practice it that way. Start in front of the mirror and then deliver it to family and friends. Ask for honest feedback. Is it boring? Hard to follow? Does it sound too self-serving or did you leave them wanting more?
 
Tailor to your audience
Like all good communications, tailor your pitch to your audience. If you both work in the Food Industry or the same company, you can get a bit more technical but you need to find points of commonality or general interest for other connections.
 
You will elevate your personal brand with an elevator pitch that shares not only what you do, but how you make a difference.
 


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