Your elevator pitch is a 5 - 30 second summary about who you are and what you do. You should not miss out on a chance to share who you are to important people just because you are stumped on what to say. Elevator pitches are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for anyone who plans to grow or change their career opportunities. Here are 5 reasons why you have to know your elevator pitch!
I have only attended one networking event and I plan to avoid future ones. Although it was a very awkward night, I received a contact for a young business man that I will probably write about on my blog in the future. It was a community event and I was excited to attend because I wanted to get exposure. When going to an event that has a sole purpose to network, you have to be ready. Most people are there to say who they are, hear who you are, and make a connection. They expect you to know your pitch and recite it to them just as they will do to you.
I recently attended a college job fair and I had so much fun. I realized that I had practiced my pitch good enough that the awkwardness of waiting in line until you can speak about yourself to your future employer was nothing. Keep in mind that they have students waiting to give them their resume, so you have to know what you plan to say and WOW them.
3.Personal Social Events
I have had the chance to network in the most unexpected situations and I have made great connections since them. I met the president of my alumni college at a relative’s retirement party. I did screw up the chance to say my pitch because I was dazed by an important man asking me what school I attended, instead I said what grade I was in. Eventually I corrected it by scheduling a meeting with him to propose a great idea and we have done amazing things for the school sin. Unexpected places are the best places to make deeper connection with business men and women, so always be ready. The vulnerability of being in a social setting can help you when it comes to pitching who are and what you do when you are not in a work setting.
School, work, or social conferences are the most relaxed events to pitch yourself because everyone plans to better themselves or their skills. They want to make connections with you for a future friendship or business collaboration. Majority of the time, the conferences stage introduction games to make the awkward situation less awkward when you are a table with all new people. That is the best time to tell interesting facts about yourself and get to know others as your equal peers. At other events, you talk to others who have a higher pay grade than you and feel the need to brag, but conferences set attendees on the same playing field.
Starbucks, Panera, and the library are the most important settings to be productive without feeling like you are at work. These places have also been the basis for how I met new people and passed out my business card. I have had two Hollister college ambassadors ask me what fabric I would prefer in a blouse and gave me a $5 gift card for my participation in Starbucks. After they pitched me, I pitched them and gave them both my business card. You have to know your pitch in internet cafes because they are more likely to catch you off guard. This is your chance to present yourself and now you have opportunity to add a new contact to your list.
Now that you have 5 reasons why you need to know your pitch, I would like to share an example of my pitch at a career fair:
“Hello (shake hands). Do you have any computer science internships available for this summer?
...Let me hand you my resume just so you can keep me in mind for future job positions. Also, here is my business card. I have a blog about how I graduated college and started a business at 16 years old.
...I may not know this programming language yet, but I have been able to learn 7 languages on my own. As you can see from my academic achievement of graduating high school and college at 16 years old, I have the dedication to learn enough to complete potential programming tasks.
...Thank you (walk away).”