Dec 9 2009
If I want to get a meeting with a private equity firm, with a view to rustling up some consulting work, I need some advice on my approach. I like to have a script and improvise around it - what should be in my 90 second elevator speech?”
Sarah Stamboulie, Career Consultant, explains how to perfect your elevator pitch:
"It is always challenging to begin a job search, and I applaud your work understanding your own value proposition. It appears that you know many of the next steps you need to take, including your wise self-counsel to “get off the Internet and get out and talk with people” (one caveat is that the Internet, particularly LinkedIn and the online alumni directories from your college/grad school, can be an excellent source of finding contacts). Then, as you mention, you need a good elevator pitch to engage these contacts.
For a strong elevator pitch, start out by providing some context that relates to your listener’s role or industry. This will stoke his or her interest and lead to curiosity about what you are going to say. This is your big opportunity to convey your passion for what you do. The beginning of your elevator pitch should give a summary and say what your competency is. Next, it should clarify who you want to work for. Then explain why you are a good fit for the job and employer. Next, talk about your background and experience, highlighting the benefits you brought to previous employers.
Once you have your pitch perfected, practice it, practice it, and practice it some more. Rehearse in front of a mirror and be aware of your body language and eye contact, as these aspects of communication often speak even louder than words. Now, try your pitch out a few times and observe the response to the listener. Do people respond to it with questions about your work, your success or processes? Do they want to learn more? Do they offer to introduce you to others? Do they show interest so you can invite them to meet at a future date? Do they ask for your business card?
If your answer is no to these questions, your elevator pitch and/or its delivery needs work. In this case I recommend that you seek help from close colleagues or friends, or alternatively from a career professional or fellow members of a job search group."
In addition to Sarah's advice, if you would like to develop your own value proposition, you may also be interested in the BlueSteps Online Course "The Elevator Pitch". For more information, please click here.
Sarah Stamboulie specializes in executive coaching, job search assistance and executive job search groups.