Talk confidently about yourself and make others want to know more
My friend Ronja is a coach and will start a new training series soon. She asked my help to sharpen her communication strategy.
She created the following self-introduction to use in the sales calls with potential customers and before the presentations:
My name is Ronja. I have long years of experience in corporate firms and I completed trainings on communications and adult training. I finally turned my passion into my work. I currently work as a trainer for emotional competencies.
I realized in my professional and personal life how important it is to be emotionally strong therefore developed the training “Strength Training for Your Emotions”
What Ronja wanted to communicate vs. what is retained
Listening to her, these were the bit of information that stayed with me…
She had one corporate job for long years and then switched to her current job. There was some talk about her personal life, I wonder what happened there? She developed a training on this topic, it should be important to her…
If we read a bit between the lines, it feels like she is telling us that she does not have so much experience in this because she did something else. But, she tries to convince us that she is capable of being a trainer because she completed the necessary training and she loves doing it.
I told her what I just told you and asked if this was what she wanted the listeners to register about what she said. It definitely was not!
She wanted to look professional, self-confident, convincing and competent.
What my friend wanted to prepare was an elevator pitch. It is called an elevator pitch because you get face time with an executive only in the elevator till the next floor and you get 30 seconds till you can convince her to listen to you more.
Nowadays none of us has much time. We are always on the go, rushing somewhere, multitasking, answering messages on WhatsApp, e-mail, Facebook messenger, trying to keep up with our network on social media and at the same time have a life. On top of that, we humans do not have a very long attention span, we get distracted quite easily. Therefore if you want to catch attention, you should do it in a short time and make sure the information you want to be delivered is retained by the listener.
A time of 30 seconds is too challenging but you should be able to pack the information you want to be delivered in a short message that should take 1-2 min max.
The goal of the elevator pitch is to awake interest and motivate for further conversation.
Elevator Pitch is an invitation to conversation
Although the name has the word “pitch” inside and it feels like you are a door to door salesman, you don’t have to necessarily sell something in your elevator pitch. It is an introduction, an invitation to a conversation.
You can use your elevator pitch in a job interview when you are asked: “Could you tell us a bit about yourself?”. You can use it in a business meeting when you introduce yourself to other partners, you may use it to potential customers, you may use it in networking events, before your presentations, before your Youtube videos. You may use it as your LinkedIn short description, as your short bio in Instagram, as your signature text in your emails.
Elements of an effective elevator pitch
Your pitch should answer the following questions:
Who are you?
State clearly and precisely who you are. I am a coach, marketing expert, data analyst….
What do you do? Which problems do you solve? Who do you help doing what?
Make what you do relevant and understandable to the people listening. Avoid jargons, mention the value you create which may also be valuable to them, make use of your successes, make use of numbers.
What do you want?
As your pitch is an invitation to further discussion mention what you would like out of this conversation. If you are in a job interview it might be “I am looking for new challenges and would like to explore with you if we are a good fit” or if you are in a networking event it could be “I would like to connect with people that share the same values”. You got the idea.
Benefits of having an elevator pitch
Whatever our current situation is we all benefit from having an elevator pitch because
- it summarises who you are and what you want.
- it gives you confidence.
- It helps you stay authentic as you know what you will talk about and don’t stress about it.
- it delivers the most important information about you that you want to deliver.
- it connects you with new people.
- it shows that you are interesting.
- it helps to sell an idea.
- it fosters further conversation.
You can and you should have different pitches for different occasions as the purpose of your pitch and your audience will be different.
Ronja’s Updated Pitch
Coming back to Ronja…
She decided her past work experience does not belong here but she wanted to talk about her past training because there are many trainers, coaches out there who are just blah blah, not professional and not well trained.
So she updated her elevator pitch as follows:
I am a certified communication trainer and I help people overcome their anxieties through “Strength Training for Emotions” where they learn their automatic reaction patterns and practice new effective responses.
A new workshop is starting in two weeks, would you like to know more about it?
What about you?
Did you realize that she answered all those three questions above? She felt so much more confident in herself and excited for the training to come. Our word choices have a huge power on us. Choosing words that are precise and appreciative of ourselves helps us to be confident and fires us up for our goals.
So now it is on you.
What is an upcoming occasion where you will introduce yourself? How will be your pitch?