You never know when someone important will ask you, “Tell me a little bit about you—your background, etc.” You don’t want to freeze, look stupid or forget to say the right things. You also don’t want to ramble because that’s boring. You want to state just the facts. (Who can argue with the facts?) If you are really awesome, the facts will speak for themselves.
I recently spent some time developing my elevator pitch about me—my 60-second pitch about who I am. I have one for Bible Study Magazine, one about my company, and one about my publishing projects. But I didn’t have one about me: the things that define me.
Sounds very existential: Who are you? Seriously, though, everyone needs an elevator pitch. If it doesn’t fit into an elevator ride, then you need to edit it. (With the help of my wife, I edited mine.)
I learned seven things by editing my elevator pitch:
- Transition words are important. Try “In addition,” “And,” “During that time,” “But,” and “Also.” Transition words are your mental cue. They also help you be succinct.
- Use a narrative arc. Tell the story of your life: some conflicts, challenges, climaxes and successes. Also try adding a failure that you learned from, or a failure that you turned into a success.
- Add some fun facts. In my elevator pitch, I mention that I led an organization that drilled five water wells in India. I also talk about the growth numbers of Bible Study Magazine.
- Be ready to expand it to two minutes. The stuff you edit out of the one-minute version can always be added back into the two-minute version.
- Decide on a message. What defines you? Choose one line that summarizes who you are. Say it at the beginning and at the end. At the end, it should have a twist, though. I love, “Oh, that’s interesting” lines. They make people want to ask questions–that’s what you want.
- Time it. Make sure your pitch is only 60 seconds. That’s two commercials. After 60 seconds, people lose focus. You want to captivate your audience.
- Use emotion. If you’re passionate, let it show.
Now go develop your elevator pitch. Make it authentic, and then rehearse it until it’s perfect.
Who are you? What defines you? What’s your story? Drop me a comment and let me know.