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The Elevator Pitch: You may know what it is. But do you know what it IS NOT…???

I was recently honored to be a speaker and host at a professional womens’ event in NYC. I met some bright, bold, young professional women who take their networking… and their careers…very seriously.

As the event unfolded, I was thrilled to be able to sit with many of the women and actually coach them on the delivery of their Elevator Pitches. It was really impressive to hear so many succinct, eloquent and compelling ways these ladies “pitched” their product, service–even themselves!

Still, there were a few attendees who arrived, unprepared. Or perhaps I should say, misguided. Like so many Speed Networking events before, I witnessed some hard-core sales schpiels, lightening-fast talkers and some who tried just a little too hard to be all things to all people. I thought a little blogging on the subject might be valuable…here’s why!

The Elevator Pitch is something every professional should perfect. It’s the most effective way to connect when faced with a limited amount of time and it’s certainly required to maximize impact and memorability. And a polished Elevator Pitch can absolutely help you make the most of every Speed Networking event you attend–it will certainly make the entire experience much easier and more productive.

There should be simplicity and clarity in your pitch’s message. A good rule of thumb to go by: Your pitch should resonate equally with a 10 year old child or a 75 year-old grandmother. In other words, it should have universal appeal. After all, if your listener doesn’t “get it,” how can he/she advocate for you, consider you for a job or refer you to others?Now, that you have the basic overview of what an Elevator Pitch is, let’s talk about what an Elevator Pitch IS NOT.

An Elevator Pitch is never…

  • A hard sales pitch
  • A verbal resume
  • A deal-closer
  • An interview.

Remember, if you only have a minute to state what it is that you do, you’ll simply want to pique someone’s interest by explaining relate-able benefits (not just features) — don’t think of this as a “close the deal” kind of conversation. During your pitch, simply share enough with your audience so that he/she will want to ask you for a follow up to the conversation.

Do you turn red, get flustered or tongue tied when talking about yourself? All the more reason to create a compelling Elevator Pitch! Putting time into the development of your pitch will take a lot of stress out of many situations, especially networking. There’s no doubt that when you have a well-honed pitch, you come across as confident and capable, and it makes others more inclined to trust you and consider you as a valuable contact. Besides allowing you to develop a rapport, a solid pitch will help you gather information about the people you meet and, most importantly, it will help you to be remembered!

Do you have any tried-and-true Elevator Pitch advice? Please share below…





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    Speed Networking: Business Insider Top Tips « Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Said:

    […] it could be misconstrued. Refine your pitch and “try different things to see what works,” said Gail Tolstoi-Miller, who runs a recruiting and speed networking company in New Jersey. She’s finishing her book […]

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