Pitching yourself, some love it, some hate it. When attending a network event or a new business opportunity presents itself, its beneficial to have a well-rehearsed elevator pitch to pull out the bag in an instant and make you stand out from the crowd. People build an impression of you in 30-60 seconds, so you need to get your message across quickly and with confidence. So by the time you’ve finished reading this paragraph they’ve possibly already formed an impression of you - make the time count.
So let’s start to think about what you need to get across. It’s not just about what you say, but also about how you engage with the other person and displaying the right behaviours to build rapport instantly. People will support you if they like and trust you.
Take some time out and consider the following:
- What do you want them to remember about you as a person and what can you offer?
- How could you fit in with their organisation or clientèle?
- Consider how you can hook them – think about 3 areas of passion, interest or objectives.
- What are you working on now and what’s your aims for the future?
- Engage with them by asking questions – remember you’re not quoting your CV but engaging in real conversation
- What’s your call to action that’s value-added – perhaps it’s to stay in touch or offer something to them?
- Remember the behaviours and the rapport building:
- Do –
- match their body language
- make eye contact
- use their name at least once
- really listen and show genuine interest in what they have to say
- be enthusiastic.
- Don’t –
- corner them and keep them too long
- get hung up on your job title – it says nothing about who you really are
- forget it’s a real conversation and not a speech.
- Do –
Once you’ve thought about this, start to formulate your pitch and reflect on the required behaviours. Then get yourself in front of a mirror, camera, or voice recorder and practice, practice, practice. You’ll learn so much about your mannerisms, buzz words you always use, and tone of voice, so don’t skip this part no matter how uncomfortable this may feel. If you’re feeling brave, and to get maximum benefit, enlist the help of a trusted friend or colleague to pitch to. Ask them to be completely honest in their feedback, what’s the point otherwise. If you’re feeling really brave, ask them to ‘step into your shoes’ and copy both physically and word for word how you introduced yourself. Just 10 seconds of your greeting as they see and hear you will tell you what no amount of practising in front of a mirror will. Do it, you’ll learn something about yourself you didn’t know.
By putting in the time to create your pitch in advance, practice it, refine it, and practice some more, you’ll set yourself up to deliver a perfect pitch with confidence and get your message across. Good luck!
“Remember, if you don’t promote yourself, then no-one else will! Likewise, believe in yourself or no-one else will either.” – Donald Trump