Friday, August 20, 2004

Selling Yourself in 30 Seconds

A 30-second pitch (a/k/a the elevator pitch) is a short, concise, compelling and creative summary of who you are and what you do. It is used when you meet people for the first time and they ask about your business. It is used as your outgoing voicemail message. It is used by others who refer business to you.

One of the most challenging things to do for many business professionals, however, is to produce a solid 30-second pitch. Every professional should have a 30-second pitch that you have prepared, rehearsed, and are ready to give whether you are networking, contacting the media, or talking to a prospective client or employer. The following tips will help you to prepare a 30-second pitch.

DO’s
•Do remember, every word counts
•Do engage the listener, grab her attention, and get her excited
•Do think in terms of benefits to the listener (what’s in it for them)
•Do concentrate of what the listener wants and needs and tailor your pitch accordingly
•Do keep in mind your tone of voice, be enthusiastic but not salesy
•Do invest time on a regular basis to revise your pitch to keep it current and original
•Do incorporate your tagline if appropriate
•Do remember to deliver a business card for future contact
•Do keep it short – most people have a very fleeting attention span
•Do follow up

DON’TS
•Don’t talk all about you
•Don’t summarize your job description and call that your pitch
•Don’t use general language in your pitch, be specific
•Don’t use jargon or legalees
•Don’t speak in a monotone voice
•Don’t memorize your pitch word for word
•Don’t cross your arms and look down at the floor while speaking
•Don’t compare your company to your perceived competition
•Don’t appear rehearsed

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