Stay authentic when you deliver your elevator pitch says Diana Brandl

According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch, elevator speech, or elevator statement is a short description of an idea, product, company, or oneself that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time. This description typically explains who the product/company is for, what it does, why it is needed, and how it will get done. For the latter, when explaining an individual, the description generally explains one’s skills and goals, and why they would be a productive and beneficial person to have on a team or within a company/project. An elevator pitch does not have to include all of these components, but it usually does at least explain what the idea, product, company, or person is and why it/they are valuable.

The name elevator pitch reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.

Have you ever tried this out?

Let me describe the following situation. Picture yourself back at the office when you enter the building in the morning. Ready to master the day, ready to tackle all those challenges that are waiting on your desk.  Just before the door closes, the CEO of the company or a senior ranked HR person jumps into the elevator to ride with you. Just the two of you.

What are you thinking? Are you afraid of the amount of power and authority in this elevator? Scared? Should you say something or just stare at your feet and smile? I am sure that there are thousands of thoughts in your head. But there is only one answer: Speak up! Because here is your 30 seconds of fame. Your time to market, promote and sell yourself. Tough words but this is what it takes to perform a successful elevator pitch.

Some of you may find this idea horrible and it may not fit your personality, however it is a wonderful opportunity to getting to know your skills and strengths. But what is the best way to practice?

Well, that is an easy answer. You simply write it down. You could use a basic word format or showcase your creativity skills and work with a mind map or a vision board. Visualization is key to truly understand and breathe in your profile and portfolio. Give it a try.

Whatever technique you find best for you, make sure you include these relevant topics in your skill list:

  • Experience (role, title, job description)
  • Voluntary work (like active membership of professional associations like IMA, IAAP etc.)
  • Special projects and successes
  • Trainings and certificates
  • Languages
  • IT Skills
  • Personal strengths (painter, dancer etc.)

Of course, this is more information than is needed for your elevator pitch, but it will help you to work on the process of writing your own skill list.

Was it hard? I am sure it was! We assistants often have a tough time talking and showcasing our strengths. Next time you do this exercise, ask for some help. Here are a few ideas:

  • Include friends and family and ask them questions like “What do you value about me?”
  • Ask colleagues and bosses (current and former) for feedback on your job
  • Read former testimonials and reference letters and mark those positive and motivating words that keep on encouraging you
  • Check LinkedIn endorsements from your contacts

Stay authentic and be you when you deliver your elevator pitch; your counterpart will know whether or not you are playing a role.

I wish you lots of success in working on your elevator pitch.

Diana Brandl holds a degree in International Administration and Management. She is an international speaker, trainer and consultant focusing on digital transformation, new work, personal branding, and leadership. Diana is the host of The Future Assistant ... (Read More)

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