The elevator pitch has often been defined as what you would say to the CEO of your company if you were in the elevator together. Now, though, many employees either have more access to their CEO's or wouldn't know them if they met them in the elevator (we live in a time of extremes, after all). This is no longer the best reason for why you need an elevator pitch and I am going to say it should be considered more of a Value Pitch (or an EVP, if you will for Elevator Value Pitch).
This means your old "elevator pitch" (if you had one) needs a makeover to highlight your VALUE of what you bring to any company, client or coworkers. Having this statement be ready and focused is, in my opinion, a magic formula to ensuring people know who you are and what you can do. Yes, magic. If done right this is a quick 2 minute overview of who you are and what you do and can lead to opportunities. This is important to have even if you are secure and happy in your career and it is a necessity if your career is not where you want it to be or if you have no career.
Here are my quick tips to creating and using an elevator value pitch (EVP) for you.
1) To do this right, you need to practice and hone your words so that it matches what you are and you must practice it so that it comes out naturally. Share it with close family and friends to see what they think of it. You could miss something because you are thinking about your career in a certain way. By sharing this potential EVP, you can make it more meaningful and robust.
2) No matter where you are in your career (happy/sad/lacking) this is something everyone you know should be aware of - the highlight of who you are and what you can do / are looking for in your next step. Of course, the level of sharing should be higher if you are lacking a career at this moment.
3) You should have this "pitch" be part of your social media strategy (see more on this here Build Your Online BRAND Not Your LIKES). You can "sneak" it into your LinkedIn profile maybe on the summary section and you can use it via Instagram and Twitter, too. It does not have to seem weird and do not overthink it. Consider creating an Instaquote with your elevator pitch in bullets or sentences and share it. You share much more than that, I am sure.
Do not be embarrassed to present yourself as a professional using the platforms you usually appear relaxed on - it is okay to be complex.
4) You should share this via your close networking partners while asking them what they use to stand out in a crowded marketplace. This can be a great learning experience for you and your partners. Do not share this way with everyone you consider a networking partner; I am specifying to highlight those you are "close" with - those who you speak about career goals and whatnot.
5) For those you are not "close" with, consider how you can bring this information up and always know how to be ready to build out this "pitch" into actionable results. If you give your pitch to a new networking person, figure out how you can "show off" (in measure). For example, if you state you are an excellent researcher, bring the conversation around to find out what the potential networking partner might need re research and then deliver some examples to them in a friendly way. Such as,
"Dear, X, It was so great to meet you at XYZ on Thursday night. I enjoyed our conversation about Z and I happened to see this during some of my research and thought it would help you in your work. Have a great day! Warmest regards, XXY"
Do you have an elevator pitch already? Does it meet the criteria of being an EVP? Does it showcase your strengths and abilities in a quick way? I am including my "EVP" for my small business here, although to make it match an actual EVP, I would remove the last sentence. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or via social media. Share your EVP with #EVPTheNextStep. Happy hunting!
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Lisa Vento Nielsen