Tag Archives: changes in technology and society

5 steps to Polish your Elevator Pitch to Perfection (thru 3 types of messages)

9 May

Is sharing your pitch as comfortable to you as pushing the ‘up’ on an elevator button?

Does your pitch feel as comfy as elevator chit-chat?pressing buttons

I don’t know about you , but when it comes to selling myself, my words turn into a mouthful of caramels.   Well, maybe not that sweet or gooey.  And, to make it worse, I’m a communication coach/facilitator.

How can this be?

Hey, it’s hard to sell – ourselves – to others we don’t know.  Others who are in the midst of selling to us.  Sometimes it feels like networking events are huge swap meets where there’s lots to sell and let’s of competition for the pennies in people’s pockets.

Realizing this, I knew I had to come up with an easy and fun strategy to share my skills.  Luckier for me, I had an opportunity to share them Tuesday night at Showbiz in NYC with 2 meet-up groups:  Crowdzu and Women’s Business.

Are there new challenges with face-to-face networking?  We’ve gotten so used to doing it in cyberspace and are less likely to reach out in person.  I guess for people

We're all focused on our phones, often more than the people in front of us...

We’re all focused on our phones, often more than the people in front of us…

who have ‘grown up’ this way, it is easier connecting through LinkedIn and Facebook.  Me, I’m old-fashioned.  I’ve been told my ghost-like on-line presence renders me invisible.

But onward…

In person communication is 3D and so is a great elevator pitch.

Light travels faster than the speed of sound:  people see, before they hear us.  And the assumptions begin!.

Meeting face to face here are the percentages for how our messages are heard:

  • 55% of the message heard is our body language, mostly facial.
  • 38% is the pitch, volume, and intonation of our voice, and,
  • 7 (measly) % is our actual words.

That’s 93% of a message ‘heard’ are nonverbal!

Body-Language definitions:images

What you're feeling on the inside shows on the outside

What you’re feeling on the inside shows on the outside

Aware of the power of our presentation, I came up with these 5 steps for a polished pitch:

1.  Purpose:  Decide – and write down why you are going to an event and what you hope to gain.  Doesn’t matter if it is just to get out of the house or if you are looking for a job or funding.  Your purpose will keep you focused and give you extra incentive to walk through the door.

2.  Attitude: Wow!  How are you feeling about the event and life in general?  Your attitude is that 93% of what people will hear when you share your brilliant skills.

For those of us who have been having a rough time ‘out there’, it can be hard to keep a positive attitude and this is why it’s really important to rethink your current situation.  If you are feeling really bad, maybe take a break and rejuvenate yourself.  Watch a TV show or meet with a friend who makes you laugh.  Or get extra sleep which always makes (me) feel better.  Most of all, don’t apologize for how things are.  Write down all the things you’ve learned, all the sock drawers you’ve cleaned up (or socks you’ve tossed), or the number of interesting conversations you’ve eavesdropped at Starbuck’s while whiling away the hours.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself all the things you are good at and all you have to offer.   Remember attitude is 93%!

Good strong handshakes with eye contact are dazzling displays of confidence!

Good strong handshakes with eye contact are dazzling displays of confidence!

3.  6 Parts of the 7% verbal:

  1. Smile, maintain eye contact, and shake hands:  a REAL handshake regardless of gender.
  2. Share your name and title
  3. Present your hook, or question.  This may be:  What brings you here today?  or as a prospective documentary filmmaker learned to ask at the workshop:  ‘Do you know who Major Taylor is?
  4. Tell what you offer including specific skills.  T. shared this first as benefits but these are her skills:  Expert at listening and identifying people’s talents and then connecting the right people with the right position.
  5. Share the benefits of your specific skills.  As S. pointed out, just telling people they will save money isn’t enough.  Be sure to be specific:  for example with T., her benefit is saving time and frustration, which will add to productivity.
  6. Ask a follow-up question to gather more information and keep the conversation flowing.  E. has a brilliant skin care line and her pitch follow-up:  ‘What is your skin care challenge?’

Be comfortable enough with your words that you can customize your pitch.  

Be sure to match your skills and benefits with your audience.

4.  Practice

It’s one thing to put together the right words, but remember it’s the nonverbals that will ‘seal the deal’ so to speak.  I always recommend practicing in front of the mirror.  Say your pitch over and over maintaining eye contact with yourself.   Smile.   Become comfortable with the words and watch the excitement build on your own face. It’s catchy.  The more comfortable you are with the words, the easier it is to customize.

Practice till your thumbs naturally turn up

Practice till your thumbs naturally turn up

5.  Appearance

In our perpetual casual Friday society, the way you dress still matters.  Dress for the job and position you want to have.  Want to be in business?  Wear a suit.  Want to be takes seriously?  Dress appropriately.  You’ll feel different and people will treat you in kind.

Most of all: Have fun!  And follow-up with all those business cards you take!

What’s your favorite tip for elevator pitch presentation success?

How do you prepare for networking events?

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Dinosaur Communication – Tongues vs. Thumbs

14 Jun

I’m a  bit of a dinosaur.

The good news is, that we are never as alone as we think!

I prefer face to face conversations, writing letters on stationary dropped into a mailbox on the corner.   My palm  is open and empty.  I walk the city focused on feeling while resisting the trend to record and capture ‘the moment’.  I lug around a paper book , savoring the feel, the mustiness.  Tentatively holding a page between my fingertips, that millisecond before turning it to the ‘been there, read ‘that’ side adds sweetness to my read.  My books are strewn with pieces of paper marking remarkable quotes and scenes to be reread on a whim.

Evolution is inevitable and species either adapt or become extinct.   Life and technology changes, moving us forward.   My preferences are becoming archeological treasure while my survival instincts kick in.  Why I can text, and LIKE it!  I can be a 21st century woman though that definition is still being written.    To be sure, how and what we communicate has evolved and now resides in this century.  These change effects how we interact, relate, and feel

Remember meeting and talking at the water cooler before water bottles and emailing messages across cubicles? Interestingly, the people pictured are ‘older’. Are water coolers extinct? How much office culture is created over a shared beverage?

about ourselves and our relationships.  How can it not?  Right?

Cyberspace must need well-trained air traffic controllers to handle flying messages.  I sometimes think counting messages is the modern-day equivalent of counting ‘coup’.   I love listening to a friend’s messages, knowing we will both laugh at the same thing at the same time in the message.  Does a written LOL count as a shared laugh?

And yet, it is so seductively easy to send a text, an email rather than press

What’s wrong with this picture? Is there anywhere we don’t text anymore?

the keys to call and connect to a friend.  It gets the ‘job’ done, too easily, too quickly.

But here’s one thing I think, I know for sure:  while our thumbs are winning the competition with our tongues in communicating and connecting, our basic human needs to be acknowledged and LISTENED to still need to be met.    And I wonder if the partnership of thumbs and technology will ‘do it’ for us.

(I’ll stay clear of references to tongues, other than with respect to the physical act of talking.)

Communication is like playing catch with a ball tossed between two or more people.  These days, that ball is often tossed into cyberspace, caught, assumedly,

Never to young to learn to ‘play’

unreturned, or twittered as a fly ball with the hope that someone, somewhere, will catch it.

Communication is the game to play!  Playing is a way to get that need to be acknowledged and listened to met.   Blogs, twitter, and, Facebook bolster hope someone ‘out there’ is acknowledging and ‘listening’ by reading. I hope you are there.  Are you?   It’s a great effort, but it’s NOT playing catch.  Unless you leave a comment.

Game on!  It’s tongues vs. thumbs

Which satisfies your need for communication and connection? 

VOTE by checking out the next post!!! Which do you prefer (or use more often) tongues or thumbs or tongues to communicate??? Leave a comment!

Which do you prefer to actually use?

My suspicion:   many of us miss and crave face-to-face ‘catch’, a.k.a. two-way conversation and connection.

 Do you spend enough time sitting across a table, waiting for a raised eyebrow, a hint of a smile, or                                                    sharing tear-induced laughter?

I  miss it!

So here’s my question: 

 is ‘thumb-communication’ an evolutionary advantage to tongue-communication?

Where do you get your quality ‘tongue’ or face-to-face communication?

As a dinosaur, I’m flexing my thumbs and doing all I can to propagate face to face, ‘old-fashioned tongue’ communication   (i.e. talk!).

Stay tuned for posts filled with stories and tips about how communication is the key to survival.

Join with me and share your thoughts on how we can naturally select how we communicate and thrive!