I went to a DC women’s leadership networking dinner the other night, and when we decided to go around the room and introduce ourselves, I found myself caught deer-in-headlights style when it was my turn to go. The frustrating part was that I knew exactly what I needed to say to sell and represent my company, but I felt like I wasn’t truly representing who I was individually. The feeling became more and more obvious as we continued around the room (I was number 7 of 32 to go!). By the time the last lady went, I felt like raising my hand so I could reintroduce myself!
Learn from my mistake: here’s my advice on what to include in your personal ‘elevator pitch.’
This goes without saying: if you’re in a professional environment, like a networking dinner, you are representing your company. Be sure to have that pitch ready to go. The caveat? Make sure you can describe what your company is in one sentence, and what you do in another – if not all in one, albeit run-on, sentence.
What are you good at? What do you pride yourself on? What do people refer to you for? Maybe it your incredible digital marketing savvy, or your uncanny ability to perceive client issues with minimal details? Include it!
Do you enjoy long walks on the beach? Seeing every movie when it comes out? Or just hanging out with your family? Add some color and include something more personable about yourself. The best way for someone to remember you, is to by adding something interesting in your ‘conversation chemistry’.
Last, but absolutely not least, include an interesting fact about yourself. In many ways, this is the trickiest of them all because it forces us to ask ourselves: “What makes me so special?” Interestingly, many people are uncomfortable talking about themselves, which is why this is the hardest part of the ‘elevator pitch.’ What are you passionate about? What is something you have done that is unique? Maybe you read 100 books in 100 days, or perhaps you traveled somewhere recently, or maybe you coach Little League on the weekends? You never know who will feel kinship with what you’ve experienced!
Ultimately, you want to think of your pitch as to selling yourself (not just your business!): what makes YOU unique? Write it down, read it out loud, and even record yourself saying it and play it back. You’ll the one prepared next time you’re in a room of people, about to introduce yourself.
The only other issue you’ll end up with is how to build a relationship with all the great people you’ll meet!