Your first two lines in your pitch that make a memorable impression!
An elevator pitch is your chance to catch the attention of the person you’re talking to and say something memorable that differentiates you from countless other job seekers.
It has been said, but never measured as far can tell (and I am a numbers guy): “My opinion is that most hiring decisions are made in the first minute..” (Steve Davis, Career Coach). This means your appearance (hair/make-up/wardrobe/shoes, etc.), how you shake hands, eye contact, the first words out of your mouth and your response to ‘Tell me about yourself’. These can be the deciding factors to landing a job!
I like to use short statements in the beginning to break the ice before getting into a full’ Tell me about yourself’ answer. I want to create a memorable image in the mind of the person I am talking to.
One liner process
Going from I am a marketing executive ….
To: I am a marketing cardiologist: I get to the heart of your marketing problem and bring it back to life—CLEAR! Pumm Pump! Pumm Pump!’ (press hands together and demonstrate!)
I wore a stethoscope to a networking meeting when I used the above statement. Very effective!
Requires 3 steps.
- Always open with your strongest skill/strength. In the following examples I will use identifying and solving problems. identifying and solving problems.
2. Connect your strength to something that will provide an image in the person’s mind you are talking to. I use Google searches – funny ways to solve a problem – it just gets your mind working and fun stuff to read! Cardiologist, heart, life—CLEAR!
3. Turn on the comic section of your brain and write out some ideas. What can you say with gestures and sound effects that will get attention? Talk to yourself, play it out without anyone around, test ideas with a friend/loved one. CLEAR! Pumm Pump!’ Pumm Pump!’ (press hands together, vocalize and demonstrate!)
I recommend doing this for your top 3 or 4 strengths/skills. It will make interviewing memorable!
I use gestures, sound effects (i.e.: Pumm Pump!) and employ an object or two in my pitch to express my excitement and make my answer to Tell me about yourself engaging and memorable!
Note about objects: As I mentioned earlier, I have worn a stethoscope to strengthen the image of saving the heart of a business. Use toy binoculars for seeing further than others to find a solution. Also I have used a small toy shovel to emphasize digging deep to uncover the root cause to a problem. My favorites are a magnifying glass and Sherlock Holmes hat is also effective for identifying problems and coming up with solutions!
Anything goes! You have nothing to lose!
The BACKBONE of the pitch is to focus on your existing strengths, talents, and professional skills and use that knowledge to develop a customized “elevator pitch” that clearly and concisely introduces you and your most valuable abilities to potential collaborators or employers.
Tip: Keep your answer to Tell me about yourself between 30 – 40 seconds for a quick introduction at a networking meeting. 2 minutes works well in an interview situation. But in reality, there are no set rules. Do what works for you and practice, practice, practice!
Here is a simple format to consider.
- Ice Breaker: I am a: Who you are and what do you want.
- Ice Breaker: I help:State what you do best-your strongest skill.
- Discuss achievements that back up your strengths/skills. Stan Ziv at the Muse has an effective approach for this section: The Present, Past, and Future approach. Present, Past, and Future approach.
- “Present:Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a big recent accomplishment.
- Past:Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that’s relevant to the job and company you’re applying for.
- Future:Segue into what you’re looking to do next and why you’re interested in this gig (and a great fit for it, too).”
Then transition into BENEFIT:
- So they can (benefit or results for organizations/people you have helped)_________________.
- Close: Ask a question about the condition of the business or the position you are interviewing for.
An important part of your pitch is to be EXCITED and ANIMATED! Use your voice and hand gestures to emphasize your points. Keep in mind that your work, outside activities, hobbies and educational experiences provide the insights you can talk about in your pitch. Pitches are not just all about work – it is about what you can provide an employer.
The following approach also works well when you are networking and people ask: what do you do?
Ice Breaker Examples: Lines 1 and 2: Steve Leeker.
Ice Breaker: I am a business potential detective.
Ice Breaker: I uncover, dismantle, even blow up! (BOOM! Hand gestures!) obstacles that are preventing you from maximizing your potential.
Achievements: For example: ……… Here I discuss achievements that back up my strengths and skills I want to emphasize. Use the Present, Past, and Future approach.
It is critical to tailor the pitch to the person you are talking to. Make it about them and the company/position, not about a laundry list of what you did last summer like you did in grade school!
- Benefit: Removing obstacles opens the door for your company to more opportunities, more sales, and higher profits.
- Close: What obstacles or loss opportunities are you dealing with right now?
Your turn : Situation: First meeting with a recruiter for XYZ company. To make this successful, it is important to know what the position is and as many details about the position and XYZ company as possible. If there is a job posting read through it to pick out key words that you must include in your pitch.
Ice Breaker statements are in BLUE. Lines 1 and 2
- I am: Who you are and what do you want
I solve riddles! I offer an abundance of problem-solving skills and will be your best asset!
- I help: State what you do best-your strongest skill. My work ethic of perseverance coupled with my communication, analytical and leadership skill help me work through difficult tasks. Challenging problems or projects energize me because I can dig deep and find a practical solution.
- For example: (provide one quick story) Then jump into Present, Past, and Future approach.
You can end the story with a statement like:
- In this process I become a better/stronger person because I develop new skills as I accomplish my goals!
So They Can..What is the benefit to this person’s company-what is extremely important to this person’s company that you can deliver on. Job posting descriptions can provide clues for you.
Example: I have no problem meeting deadlines and planning, which I know is extremely important in your line of work.
- End with a question: What obstacles at Blank are you dealing with currently and seeking to find solutions for?
If you are interest in more information, email me so we can do a 30-minute Zoom call.
Check out my 1-on -1 Job Search Coaching Course by clicking here