For anybody in the workplace, time is the most valuable asset to maintain. We try to use as little of it as possible. This can complicate networking, since networking is all about making business connections that will last. So how do we make solid business connections, but only take up a minute of someone’s time? The elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a selling statement, taking only the time it takes to go from the lobby to the second floor.
Here are some quick tips for a stellar pitch:
1. Start strong
We’ve heard it before with essays, to have that memorable opening to hook readers. All the same steps apply in regards to a good pitch. People can catch someone’s attention with a bold statement (“I intend to change the world in less than a year”) or a personal, more anecdotal approach (“When I was younger, all I wanted to do was be a writer”). But be careful with personal stories, as it’s difficult to keep them short and sweet. The ideal pitch should only be a minute or less.
2. Be concise and intentional
What do you need this person to know about you? Always approach a pitch with a goal in mind. Do you want to convince someone they should hire you? Or would you rather find someone to believe and support your vision? Focus on your goals over anything else, as this is the body of the pitch.
3. Have key points to go through
When we talk elevator pitches, there’s one format that never fails. First, say who you are. Try to include your organization or graduation year, to make yourself more memorable. Next, state what the goal is. Do you want to work for them? Do you want to get more experience in your field? Do you need a recommendation? What should follow is always the why; why they should believe in your goal. This can include personal strengths or recommendations. Finally, end with where they can contact you. There’s no use making a good impression if they don’t know where to find you.
4. Be flexible about time
Be ready to keep your points short, or to go into detail about them if asked. A good pitch will leave room for questions, so you’ll need answers. How did you come up with your goal? Why are you introducing yourself to this person? Keep possible questions like this in mind.
5. Know who you’re talking to
It’s important to know your audience, especially when you’re marketing yourself. Try to know if they would rather ask questions or if they want to listen. Use the right manner for your audience. Don’t keep it casual with someone who would be your boss, unless they suggest otherwise. Try to avoid slang in your speech to keep a professional air about the conversation.
Need help with what happens after a successful pitch? Use Mango for more helpful tips for networking and that first follow up message!