Presentation on theme: "The Elevator Speech/Pitch Persuading on the fly. The elevator speech (or pitch) is a very short, persuasive oral presentation o typically about thirty."— Presentation transcript:
The elevator speech (or pitch) is a very short, persuasive oral presentation o typically about thirty to sixty seconds o designed to introduce a creative idea or sell a product or service (like yourself!) Situations where a 30-60 second pitch might be useful: o business receptions o job interviews o conferences o Meeting new people in the field Bars Restaurants Coffee shops Family events
Be prepared for an unexpected opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential client or employer and make a persuasive pitch for your idea, product, service, or, in the case of job opportunities, yourself. The key to giving an effective elevator speech is, first, to have some idea of your audience: Who is the person you are talking with? What is this person's key interest, and why might what you have to say be of interest?
Your pitch should focus on the information most important for the overall goal Are you speaking with a manager who might conceivably want to hire you? If so, you’ll want to prepare a pitch that focusses on you skills and experiences Are you speaking with a manager that doesn’t realize how valuable your skill set is to their company? Can you convince a manager to create a position for you? If so, you’ll want to focus on how well you know your field, and how the field is improving other businesses Are you speaking with a potential client, someone who might benefit from the services of your consulting company? If so, you might focus on your company's strengths and on how your company's services could be of use.
That’s audience, the second key point is your message: What is the key point you want to convey to this listener? Are you selling a product or service? Do you have an idea or perspective worth sharing? Can you help solve a problem or meet a need that the person has? A third key factor is preparation: Creating an effective elevator speech requires some advance preparation Prepare some key phrases or sentences that can represent your pitch strongly, clearly, and concisely. Don’t prepare something canned; It should not be a fixed and memorized statement. You have to stay flexible, able to adapt your pitch for different audiences and different occasions.
In an elevator speech you might do some or all of the following: Introduce yourself by name and by organizational affiliation. Indicate what you know about the listener's needs and his/her organization (or, if you don't know, ask) State concisely and clearly what it is you and/or your organization has to offer. Present your business card, if it seems appropriate - or indicate to the person how they might contact you. In your elevator speech you should definitely: Show enthusiasm; maintain eye contact; act interested and energetic. Avoid speaking for too long; don't ramble; give the listener a chance to follow up with questions. Make your main point clearly and succinctly.
Main Goal: The immediate goal of your elevator speech is to make an impression To be remembered To generate some interest on the part of the listener. To make the listener want you on their team Possible Preparation for elevator speeches While you don’t want to prepare, or memorize specific lines for a speech because the contexts are so diverse, you can prepare for such occasions Think about the types of audiences you might need a quick speech for
In-Class Writing: How would you prepare/respond to the following situations: You attend a Purdue career fair, but the company you really want to work for closes their booth before you can get a chance to talk to the two representatives that were present. It’s a mid-size local company, so you know the representatives are recruiters who are pretty high-up in the company. You see them head for the door and decide to catch up. You say hello, and are given a 30-60 second walk to the stairwell to make an impression.
How do you get an immediate sense of this audience? Who are they? What’s their position? Do they have the power to hire, or only recommend? What do you focus on in your talk? How do you present yourself? Confident? Aggressive? Curious? Humble? How do you leave the conversation?
You’re attending an important conference in your field, and a professor you admire asks if you want to tag along for lunch. You agree to go, and are soon joined by some of the professor’s colleagues. Upon being introduced, you realize that one of these colleagues is a major figure in the graduate program you hope to apply to, and you admire their work greatly. Your professor introduces the two of you, and you are quickly asked about your interests. This might be your “in” for this program. What do you say?
How do you get an immediate sense of this person? What influence does this person have in selecting graduate students? What influence does this person have in the field as a whole? What do you focus on in your talk? How do you present yourself? How do you leave the conversation?
You’ve been dating someone for three months now, and the unnerving invitation to join him/her for Thanksgiving arises. You like this person a lot, and decide to go, even though it is going be the first time you’ve met any their family, and you’re meeting them all at once! You get a fresh haircut, wear your best jeans, and politely parade around meeting everyone and trying to remember their names. When it comes time to meet Aunt Linda, you find out that she is on the board of directors for a huge company you’ve had your eye on months in applying for jobs. What do you say?
How do you get an immediate sense of this person? What influence does this person have in selecting new employees? Is she the type of person that wants to mix family with business? Is now the best time to approach her with your interest in the company? What do you focus on in your talk? How do you present yourself? How do you leave the conversation?
One key to preparing possible pitches is to think through different audience scenarios What do you say to a recruiter vs. a professor vs. a family member vs. a client? Another key to preparation is thinking through different relationships What job experience best highlights your skills? How can you remember a narrative/story that best demonstrates these skills without sounding like a pitch? Can you think of a funny work-related story that highlights your skills and abilities? This might let the “pitch” element be less obvious What about a heartwarming story that highlights your skills and abilities? Non-profit work?
How can you relate skills/experiences to life lessons? “I realized that good sales-skills are about knowing people, not products, when I worked for a design firm last summer.” How can you relate skills/experiences to an insight or vision you have for your field? “I worked as an Intern on a bridge construction project last fall, and I realized that too many people in construction management are focused on staying ahead of schedule and below budget at the expense of worker loyalty. If you take the time to focus on good communication, and building a loyal team these things come naturally.”
Think through the above situations again, and write a paragraph explaining how you would approach a pitch for yourself in each situation. What specific skills or experiences would you highlight for each situation, and how would you do it. Here are the situations again: Last minute career fair pitch Lunch with important person pitch Family connection pitch Other situations to consider: Potential new client at a house party Car ride with current boss, trying to get a promotion pitch
For Wednesday: Read PWO>Elevator Pitches Be sure to look at some examples Begin thinking about possible secondary sources for your job materials