Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Rock" Your Elevator Pitch

Mr. Pickett sometimes calls me a science geek because I know the names of the 3 types of rock there are. And I go around saying it. Not all the time, but just some of the time, like when I'm doing errands, or going for a drive, or sitting at the computer. It just comes to me, like it's the most natural thing in the world. I'm not showing off, it's just that I had to memorize them years ago for a project I was doing, and the names stayed with me, like old photos or letters. I have the names down cold.

Many of us with businesses or entrepreneurial projects, are taught the importance of having our "elevator pitches" down cold. I've heard all kinds of theories on this. For example, one should have a 30-second pitch ready, as well as a longer, 1-2 minute pitch ready, because you need to have something to say if someone has more questions beyond what you've answered. Like if they say, "oh, I see you're a content writer, or a video marketer, or a social media-ist, tell me more about that..."  You need to be ready. You may or may not be in an elevator, (personally, I find this a little ridiculous, no one has ever asked me anything of significance in an elevator, unless it's what floor I'm going to), but you need to be ready.

You may also know that you should focus on how you fix a problem, and that your body language should match what you are saying. I once went to a seminar where people went up on stage, blurted out their pitches, and then received a critique from an expert coach. One man who had a massage business delivered his pitch with such stiffness and reservation, that I never would have gone to him for a massage in a million years. So, there has to be congruence -- in what you say and your body language.

But there also has to be an organic and naturally quality in how you say it, so that you appear (and hopefully are!) authentic and genuine to others, even if you are "reciting" a phrase you have memorized. You still have to rock your elevator pitch, and make it seem fresh and exciting. If you don't, no one else will care, and you might as well be rattling off your grocery list.

When someone asks you what you do, imagine it's the first time you're saying it. Imagine you just went shopping and bought something you've been wanting for 10 years. Imagine you're about to leave for the vacation of your dreams. Even better, imagine that you're going to help that person solve their problem with style and savoir-faire, because after all, that's what you do, right? Not to be cliche, but you've got to say it with feeling.

So now it's your turn. Practice your 30-second and one-minute versions, and then practice the organic version where you can be conversational and articulate, without "reciting" your pitch. You'll marvel at the change.

Oh, and by the way...those three kinds of rock? Metamorphic, Sedimentary, and Igneous.  Remember that. You never know when it will come in handy.

No comments: