Holiday Networking: The Perfect Elevator Pitch
It’s officially the season of holiday parties and galas! While many of these events are socially focused, they can offer great opportunities to professionally network. You never know who you might meet while you’re having fun on the holiday social scene. It just might be that person who opens the door to your next golden opportunity. The key to making a great first impression as you mingle is having a great introduction – your elevator pitch.
Here are five tips to help you deliver a great pitch and make lasting impressions during this holiday season:
Gather Your Facts. Your elevator pitch is simply a summary of what you do and your significant accomplishments. To get started in creating your winning pitch, you’ll want to ask yourself several questions. How would you summarize your current profession in one sentence? If you’re unemployed, what kind of work have you done in the past? What are your most significant accomplishments? What kind of opportunities are you targeting? If you met a person that could help you land your dream job, what would you want them to know?
Summarize. Once you’ve gathered your facts, it’s time to put it all together. However, there’s a reason why it’s called an elevator pitch. It’s about the length of an elevator ride. You have about 30 seconds to tell the person something so great that it intrigues them to keep the conversation going. A great elevator pitch will tell the person what you do (even if you’re currently unemployed) along with your key accomplishments – in 30 seconds or less!
Be Relevant. Remember, you’re at a social event. So, it probably won’t be appropriate to dive right into your professional background. Start the conversation off with small talk and then ask what they do. This will help you direct the conversation and tailor your elevator pitch, so that it’s relevant to the person. Since you’re at a social event, only mention one or two quick, but impressive accomplishments. Unless the person has shared a laundry list of their accomplishments, they probably won’t be interested in hearing a laundry list of yours. It’s a social event, after all.
Finish Strong. At the end of your pitch, you need a call to action. It’s what you want to happen next. Always be prepared to ask for something. It can be something as simple as asking for their professional opinion and a request to remain connected. This will keep the conversation going and will help create a meaningful connection that extends beyond that first meeting.
Practice Makes Perfect. You only have one shot to make a memorable impression. Practice your pitch to ensure that it’s short and quickly engages whomever you happen to meet. However, it should naturally flow like the rest of your conversation. Practice your pitch until it doesn’t sound rehearsed!
Khalilah Starks, founder of High Powered Professional, is a career expert dedicated to providing students and professionals with techniques on career advancement and professional success. She has served as a career expert on a CBS Morning News Show and has been featured in numerous online and print publications.