There are only so many ways to explain what we do. Or are there? Consider the vocabulary you use to finesse the words in your perfect pitch.
There’s often direction on what a perfect pitch looks like – but what words do you use to get there? A perfect pitch is succinct and easy. It gets to the point quickly while also making a lasting impression. A perfect pitch is not wordy or distracting. And it should never leave someone wondering who you actually are and what you are offering to do. But, while all that advice stands, it still makes finding the words to your perfect pitch really hard.
What is a personal elevator pitch? It’s your calling card, resume, business proposition, and bio all wrapped in one. Depending on how you craft it, or your audience, it could appear on your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or social media page, or be said at a networking event. This is your quick synopsis covering your background and experience, as well as where you hope to be in the future.
If that sounds like a lot of ground to cover, it is. However, that’s all the more reason to get the wording right. Because, even though a personal elevator pitch should be no longer than a (brief!) elevator ride, it should also be compelling. In other words, it’s about leaving people wanting more.
How to Use a Personal Elevator Pitch
Even if you aren’t on the job hunt, you likely already have a personal elevator pitch. Thanks to social media, we are all constantly networking and introducing ourselves. Even when we don’t realize it, our Twitter bio or avatar is doing the work for us. Consider the kinds of details you already share on a social media bio. Although presented in a snappy or funny way, your personal details on social media – from where you went to college to status as a dog lover – introduce you to possible followers. When people enter your name into a search engine, it’s similar to them approaching you at a party and saying, “Tell me about yourself.”
As you think of how to perfect your pitch and choose the right words, think back to what you are already doing. On social media, we are bound by word counts. A pitch should also be short and sweet, and focus on the essentials. It can also be rewritten, edited, deleted, updated, and changed. Our life skills, interests, and opportunities are all going to change throughout our lives. Just as you may occasionally update your social media bio, you can change your personal pitch, too.
You also don’t have to restrict yourself to one go-to elevator pitch. Have a few! After all, your Instagram bio is not the same as your LinkedIn bio. So, you don’t have to greet people in a Zoom conference the same way you would introduce yourself to a new neighbor. You may also be someone with various interests. Depending on the situation, let the appropriate interest lead the way. Whatever side of yourself you spotlight, your elevator pitch should be with you. Your personal elevator pitch can come in handy when meeting a new colleague or client, or even on a date.
How Can Your Pitch Stand Out?
The internet is one noisy party. With brands, individuals, and, well, everyone jockeying for space to share their message, it can be hard to be heard. It can also be hard to stand out. When everyone has their version of the perfect pitch and a platform to share it on, the words you choose matter even more.
Being unique and staying true to your authentic self will help you craft the perfect pitch (or pitches). As discussed, you should have a few variations of the right “hello, I’m…” ready. Perhaps you are interested in opportunities in two different fields. Or, perhaps, you have a career in one area and a side gig doing what you really love. All these experiences inform who you are. And, by sharing the complete package, you can stand out and better inform the people you meet. For example, a job recruiter may talk to dozens of IT experts in one day. But, if you are the IT expert with a specific interest in fly fishing, or who has experience applying their tech knowhow to the medical field, that’s different.
Already, we know that catering to a niche audience can help marketers and brands stand out on social media. In addition to applying that strategy to your personal pitch, there is room to add flavor and have fun in order to differentiate yourself. If crafting a bio and resume feels daunting, look back to what you have already shared in your social media bios. Although you will need to adjust your language to fit a professional setting, you can find inspiration. What’s the version of you that you share with your friends or family? What go-to facts do you share when you only have 150 characters to fill?
Add Sensory Words to Your Pitch
In a way, pitching yourself is akin to working in sales. You are, after all, trying to introduce a product (you) and get someone to buy (hire). Sensory words can be incredibly motivating in sales. And these words can also help you perfect your pitch. People innately respond to sight, sound, and feeling. You may already be familiar with sensory words in sales:
- Take a look…
- Let me tell you…
- Wait until you get your hands on…
- Picture yourself in a…
- You can almost feel the…
Using these phrases helps to paint a vivid picture for your audience to respond to. So, how can you incorporate this into your conversations, sales, and pitches? Take a look at a list of sensory sales phrases, and you may already realize they are part of our pitching vocabulary. Since some phrases are part of a natural, chatty vernacular, they may not even need to be purposefully added in. In fact, being comfortable and confident in your pitch will help your words land with ease.
Put a Verb in It
Again, we know what a bio should and shouldn’t be, but it can still be difficult to assemble the right ingredients. It all comes down to wording. If you want your pitch to pop, you should not only create a scene but keep the action moving. In resume writing, for example, job coaches will encourage hunters to use action words. What did you do at your last job? You led, you created, you organized, you launched. Talking about ourselves can be boring. But adding some punch to your talking points keeps everyone moving.
In addition to choosing verbs, focus on using active (not passive) verbs. Also, look for the strongest or most unique word to use. Thoughtful word choice will help your pitch rise to the top. So, did you “lead” or did you “spearhead”?
At the end of the day, your perfect pitch should be about you. So, put your best words forward! Crafting a meaningful pitch will feel natural and is more likely to succeed if it accurately represents you and the words that represent you.