I attend a lot of networking events. Most often they are luncheons where ten people are seated at a table. Each person is asked to succinctly deliver their elevator pitch. And no matter how many of these I go to or what level of experience people in attendance have– I am always stunned by the number of men and women who can’t deliver a cogent pitch about themselves and their businesses.
I think: You did know that you were coming here today–right? How is it that you can’t tell me what you do in a minute or two?
I realize that I spent 12 years in TV news where I was always under pressure to spit out the facts of a story in 90 seconds, but surely non-tv people know that they need to cut to the chase when pitching people at a networking event.
As I relayed my experience to a friend, she suggested that I write a blog post about what makes a good elevator pitch. So here goes one of the most common sense blog posts I’ve ever written.
Elevator Pitch Content
1. Tell me who you are and what you do. Example: Hi, I’m Noeleen. I’m the President and Founder of McGrath Comm. We specialize in executive media training and executive presentation skills coaching. We work with everyone from CEOs to professional athletes to politicians to authors etc.
2. Tell me what sets you apart from your competition. Example for executive media training elevator pitch: So why should you hire me? I’ve got 12 years of network and local news experience. Unlike most PR folks who attempt to do executive media training, I’ve lived it. I know what it’s like to sit under the hot lights. I know what reporters will do to try and bait you because I was one of them. I also happened to be one of the best. I was known for my hard-hitting interview style. I also received many awards for my live reporting, and I was honored to receive one of journalism’s most prestigious awards–a National Edward R. Murrow.
3. What are you looking for? Types of clients? A contact at a particular company? Who would be a good strategic partner? Or something else regarding business development? Example: I am investigating the best venues for seminars. If anyone has any suggestions or knows someone who might, please let me know. I’d love to pick his/her brain.
Those three points take me about 45 seconds to deliver. When I have a little more time, I tell the story of how I transitioned out of TV news into corporate communications and why I founded my company over six years ago. It’s a good story. It’s memorable. And I deliver it well. As a result, people remember me and I receive referrals because not only did I not waste people’s time– I left them wanting more.
If you would like more tips, check out our other presentation skills blogs.
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