I presented a workshop on elevator pitches at a job club yesterday.
To my knowledge, the thinking behind writing an elevator pitch is fairly agreed upon unlike say resume writing. With resume writing you have many preferences and secrets for making your resume the freshest, most relevant and most likely to rise to top. In exploring the web for elevator pitch information I found little that differentiated people’s preferences.
Pitches should be concise, catchy, maybe even entertaining, and free of industry jargon and HR buzzwords. It is imperative that they answer the question of what problem you solve along with your unique solution. Possibly most importantly, it needs to convey your enthusiasm and passion. Based on whether it is a cold elevator pitch (meeting for the first time) or a warm (building on a previous meeting) the pitch should be in the 20 to 60 second range. The real challenge for people seems to be unearthing those elusive words that will frame themselves in the best light.
While talking about this with a colleague this morning he made a comment that I liked and find it worthy of repeating. He compared the elevator pitch to the first paragraph of a book. He stated that it is written last after the entire book is worked out and the author has the story in her bones. At that point the author writes the lead, which finishes the book.
What do you know in your bones about yourself? What are the words that emerge from your heart of hearts when you talk about the book that is you? The words that no recession, no age barrier or outside circumstances can change. It’s what makes you unique (yes we all are), and represents your own signature brand granted to you long before you became aware of it. That thing that puts a smile on your face and goose bumps on your arms. Yes that’s it. Put that in your elevator pitch- concisely.
Sep 15, 2009 0