If you’ve found this post through an internet search, welcome! We’re glad to have you here and we hope you’ll find this breakthrough self-assessment process a real boon for your professional career.
Review your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other professional documents. Are they up to date and complete?
➡️ If yes, keep reading!
➡️ If not, you’ll benefit from reading part 1 first.
Are you in the practice of regularly recording your professional accomplishments?
➡️ If yes, you know what to do. Keep reading.
LEVEL UP! Career Branding & Empowerment Self-Assessment, Part 2
You know who you are and what you do, but others don’t. When a person asks you what you do, everything you say feeds into how that person perceives you. They will categorize you, judge you and know whether they like you and if they want to invest any more time talking to you. In order not to bumble these tiny opportunities, having a pre-set, memorized, practiced and smooth self-introduction is a MUST.
“Nice to meet you Judy, what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a business analyst.”
Judy just missed an opportunity to tell her story and forge a strong persona that isn’t easily forgotten.
“Nice to meet you, Judy, what do you do for a living?”
“You know you can’t make business decisions without information. The success of an organization hinges upon the data and information supplied to senior leadership. I accumulate and assimilate that data into a format that is easy to understand and useful to senior leadership. My title is Business Analyst but I consider myself an agent of change within an organization.”
Judy just capitalized on an opportunity to present herself in a high-level, memorable manner that may open doors later.
Concept of the Elevator Pitch AKA Self-Introduction
An elevator pitch is a clear and concise message about who you are, professionally speaking, what you’re looking for in your career, and how you can benefit a company or person.
Creating Your Own Elevator Pitch
A successful elevator pitch gives other professionals the essence of who you are in just 30 seconds.
Just as it’s generally easier to write a longer piece of content than it is to boil it down into something shorter, an elevator pitch may start out as a longer message, one you can strategically distill for the greatest impact. So, it may help to write down potentially relevant information as fully as you can and then choose to include what’s most powerful.
Here are some questions to consider:
- What do you do and how do you do it?
- How does your work affect others? What is the result of your work?
- How would you explain what you do to a child?
- What has been your biggest, most current success?
- What is an intriguing fact about what you do or where you do it, that people would find memorable, interesting, or relatable?
If you’re still in the early stages of developing your pitch, it can help to ask five trusted colleagues how they would describe you using three to five words. From those responses:
- What have you learned about how they perceive you?
- Do their answers dovetail with what you see as your own strengths?
- If not, how do they differ?
- Has this helped you to identify strengths you hadn’t recognized?
Now, here’s one more thing to consider and write about before you select the most impactful text. Imagine being at a party, networking event, or conference. Write down how you typically introduce yourself. Also, think about people you meet at those events. How do they introduce themselves? In particular, what are some of the most impressive statements you can remember?
Narrowing Down the Gist
Now that you’ve created this list of potential items to include, review your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other professional documents and profiles. What is included in these that didn’t make your list? If they’re applicable to your elevator pitch notes, add them.
Next, reduce what’s on your list to the 20 to 25 most important bullet points. For this step, think about a broad elevator pitch that would be relevant in a typical professional encounter. Then, see if you can cut your list in half. Then, cut it in half again, and then it’s likely that you’ve got the most influential aspects, the ones that will make the most compelling elevator speech.
Now craft it so that you’re introducing yourself and giving a brief explanation of who you are; this could include your company’s name and your title. Then share your professional accomplishments, ending with a future-forward comment.
Avoid buzzwords that can quickly sound tired.
Consider creating different pitches for different people and situations. How would you introduce yourself at a networking event to a potential future employer vs the introduction you would give to colleagues at an internal company event vs people you meet at a personal event like a wedding or night out with friends.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Rehearse until you feel as though you could provide this pitch underwater, blindfolded and hogtied. Practice until you can deliver your concise speech naturally, confidently, and passionately.
Practice giving it while looking in a mirror, until you feel comfortable smiling and making eye contact. Rehearse until your elevator pitch is 15 to 30 seconds long. And then practice ending your pitch by asking the other person a question or making a conversational comment—and then listening carefully to the response.
You’ll need a couple of varieties of this question or comment. If, for example, you introduce yourself first, then asking about the other person is a natural follow up question. But, if his or her elevator pitch was given first, you’ll need to say something else. Perhaps, as just one example, you can note common interests and then listen to what the other person says.
This brings up another point. While it’s important to have a prepared elevator pitch you can share, you’ll need to notice who the other person might be and customize your comments appropriately.
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