How to Have Fun Networking By Using an Authentic Personal Pitch
10 Simple Steps to Share Your Story With Confidence
You don’t have to think about the elevator pitch as a boring pitch that’s meant to sell you and your services.
Instead, think of it as a short statement that makes whoever you’re talking to want to know more about you.
For instance, the elevator pitch I use to tell people what I do is carefully put together.
I’ve modified it over time and it works well when I’m networking because it sparks conversation.
It’s fairly fluid but I usually say something along the lines of:
I’m a musicpreneur. I help artists and entrepreneurs make a bigger impact with their creations by teaching them how to produce and promote themselves online.
I like mine because it’s fairly broad and lends itself well to discussion. I don’t always say I’m a “Musicpreneur.” It’s a bit show-off-y to invent words to describe yourself, I’m very aware of that :)
I can call myself a musician, audio engineer, entrepreneur, author, or producer (musicpreneur does cover those pretty well though don’tcha think)? But depending on who I’m talking to, one of those descriptions might make more sense to keep the conversation going.
But enough about me, let’s dig into how you can construct your elevator pitch. You can use a variation of these 10 steps to craft an elevator pitch for your business and/or product but for the purpose of this article it’s intended for you to describe yourself as a professional.
1. Your Elevator Pitch Is Not Just Your Job
Don’t just say “I’m a broker” or “I’m a teacher” or “I’m a scientist.”
That leaves nothing to talk about. It doesn’t give the other person anything to ask about.
2. Include Some Details In Your Elevator Pitch
Saying “I’m a high-school teacher” is better because it includes a little bit of detail for the other person to ask about.
They might tell you a horror story about their high-school years that you’re not interested in, but at least you helped start a conversation.
3. Tell People What You Do That’s Not Your Job
What you do isn’t your job, but your job is still a part of what you do and who you are.
However, people don’t always like talking about their 9–5 jobs and if you’re one of them you might want to pivot your elevator pitch to the other aspects of who you are.
If you are a high-school teacher but can’t stand another story about high-school then talk about who you are otherwise.
Are you a part-time novelist? Are you a musician? Do you create robots at Xerocraft?
If you don’t like talking about “your job” then craft your elevator pitch around the part of your identity that you’re most passionate about.
Passion is contagious and it’ll help the flow of the conversation. You’ll have much more fun than if you’re always trying to avoid talking about the job you hate.
4. Include Some form of “Why” In Your Elevator Pitch
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why is a great book that talks about the importance of having a why behind what you do.
My “why,” if you will, is helping people succeed and make an impact with their creations.
Add a “Why” element to your elevator pitch to make you more intriguing.
5. Tell People How You Do It
Do you have a particularly unique way of doing things?
If you’re an entrepreneur you might have a different take on how you solve a particular problem for your audience.
How do you differentiate yourself from everyone else that does the same thing you do?
6. Who Is Your Audience?
If you’re an entrepreneur, knowing your target market is crucial.
Specifying your market in your elevator pitch can be beneficial because the other person will then know what your area of expertise is when it comes to both what you do and who you do it for.
7. Be Able to Elaborate
As with any conversation, being able to continue talking is key.
The thing about your elevator pitch is that it should be an introduction to you and what you do. But it’s really only a tiny glimpse into who you are.
Think of it as the tip of the iceberg. If the other person seems interested in your area of expertise then you shouldn’t have any difficulty with elaborating on any aspect of your day-to-day professional life.
I can talk about audio engineering, music and marketing for hours so if I hit common ground with my fellow collocutor then chances are we’ll have a great conversation.
(However, if you really want to get me going, ask me about comic books and superheroes. I treat them like they are real and I know more intimate details about them than about my closest friends…)
8. Don’t Be a Robot
I realize that being ultra-prepared and methodical with your elevator pitch might seem a little too robotic.
So don’t just tell your elevator pitch in a monotone voice like you’re HAL from 2001 Space Odyssey. It doesn’t always have to be the same exact sentence.
Be a little more human and casual about it while still covering all the things you need to cover in order to keep the conversation flowing.
9. Have Variations
Depending on the audience and the event you’re at, you might want some variation in your elevator pitch.
Like I said before, when I’m at a music conference, I focus more on the topic of music and audio. Conversely, whenever I’m at a small business networking event, I like to talk about the online business and marketing aspect of what I do.
Think about who your audience is and tailor your elevator pitch to them. It’ll make your conversations easier.
10. Have Fun!
Events and networking should be fun. You shouldn’t be scared of talking about yourself, but you also shouldn’t hog the conversation.
If you’re worried about coming off too nervous when you’re first test-driving your elevator pitch then just start the conversation by getting the other person to talk about themselves.
By listening first you put both of you at ease. Your conversational partner will love talking about themselves and you’ll feel more at ease after knowing them a little bit better.
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