Lessons from PwC's Elevator Pitch Contest for Your Personal BrandApr 13, 2011
A natural flowing, context-specific elevator speech is an important part of your professional portfolio. Unfortunately many elevator speeches sound the same and, let's face it, are quite boring. In order to grow professionally it is best if you have several different elevator speeches you and give in different contexts, such as job searches, conferences, and sales meetings. Even if you have a spectacular elevator speech, if you attend the same meetings repeatedly you are going to want to deliver a fresh message each time. After all, this is why large companies continue to spend money coming up with new ad campaigns, to provide you with a fresh message that you will listen to. The same is true for you. Your elevator speech is what you respond with when someone asks you, "So, what do you do?
In an effort to continually improve your elevator speech it's important to listen to other elevator speeches to generate ideas that you can incorporate or avoid.
Right now PricewaterhouseCoopers running it's 2011 Elevator Pitch contest for students on Facebook (check the Facebook page again on Friday, April 15, 2011 for the winner). Each of the 10 finalists has an interesting approach to share their unique value proposition. I've embedded some of the videos below (not all are available to be embedded here) and offered some observations to pay attention to when developing your own brand and elevator pitch.
When developing your own elevator pitch the most important factor is to be yourself.
Susan Eckman has a very strong elevator pitch. She opens with telling us her dream is to work in global asset management. She then goes on to describe her brand attributes - personal qualities illustrated by specific examples that would be desired by an employer. She then ties all of her experience and academics back to her dream and the job she is looking for. Well done!
Matt Taube opens by sharing his passion for numbers. So, immediately if I am looking for someone with numbers skills I want to know more about him. He tells us what he is looking for: a full time position as a consultant. He closes with an invitation to talk with him for 30 seconds more. That's a great close with a call to action.
In this video, Katie Fogle offers a description of her qualities and closes strongly by asking you to imagine what she could do for you.
Melanie Brown makes use of the video format to show her in diverse settings that show off her diverse interests and skills sets. She is very clear about what she wants to be - a CPA and a leader for the company she works for.
If you are going to put your elevator pitch online you need to consider how people will get in touch with you. One thing many of these videos are missing is a way to get in contact with the individual. Each contestant now has a global, high profile audience to hear their elevator pitch. With the exception of the few people who have their video posted on YouTube as well, it is a challenge to find some of them if you saw their video and wanted to contact him/her for an interview. Make it easy for people to find you, otherwise it doesn't matter how great your elevator speech is.
Think about your elevator speech and how it presents you and your personal brand. What is your call to action? If you don't have a specific reason for someone to contact you they likely will just move on, thanking you for the information. Lastly, check for some of the important logistical items like "How does someone interested in you get in touch with you?"
What did you learn from these elevator speeches? What ideas are you going to use?
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