By Lori Smith
The city of Boston is rocking as the Red Sox clinch the 2013 World Series! Shane Victorino was the big hitter in game six of the World Series. There were many memorable moments in this series, but for me the most impressive was when Big Papi gave his impromptu pep talk to the team in game 4. This was a pivotal moment which set the team on fire. Big Papi is an MVP both on and off the field!
You too can be an MVP by taking charge of your career. Set your goal to “hit it out of the park” when networking at events. One way to do this is to have an elevator pitch. What is an elevator pitch you ask? An elevator pitch is a short speech that sells YOU, it promotes your strengths and tells an employer or networking contact what you can offer. It answers the question, “why should I hire you?” You need to be able to say who you are, what you have done and what you are interested in doing. People will want to help you but they cannot if they don’t know this information. It would be like asking for directions without knowing where you are trying to get to.
In order to convince others of your value you first need to reflect on your strengths, problems you solved and your achievements. You will need to convey what you bring to the table and how it will help a prospective contact or employer. Be sure to include some specific examples that demonstrate your strengths.
It is also important to know your audience. You will be much more likely to succeed if your elevator pitch is clearly targeted to the individuals/organization you are speaking to. Often times you can just modify your speech to various situations. For instance, you are attending a Career Fair and will be talking to many different organizations. You would want to find out which organizations are attending the fair and then research those you are interested in speaking with.
Writing an outline for your elevator pitch may be helpful. Start with the key points you want to make. Utilize the Rule of 3, what are the 3 most important ideas about yourself that you want to convey. Once you have your outline you can begin filling in the blanks so that it will flow naturally. Finally, you will want to practice your elevator pitch before using it to network. Practice reciting it out loud. If it doesn’t flow as you would like, or you feel uncomfortable with it, change it! Also, try timing your elevator pitch. People often speak faster when they are nervous. Take your time and remember to breathe and SMILE! Keep repeating this process until you have an elevator pitch you are confident in.
Now that you have a great elevator pitch you are ready to begin networking! Be sure to read our next blog which will prepare you to network effectively.