In previous posts I talked about why everyone needs to nail their elevator pitch. In this post I’ll continue with more reasons why getting it right matters.
A confident, personal elevator pitch can help you land a job in a new field. What many forget when preparing for an interview is that they’re sitting down to talk with another human being. Human beings relate to stories more than resumes, especially when they are honest about the struggles they’ve had in the past or have now. And using your through line to tie in your past experiences with where you want to go will help the interviewer understand your desire to try something different.
“What are your weaknesses?” It’s almost inevitable you’ll be asked this question. If you see it as an opportunity to be human, you can use it as a doorway to tell your story and speak from the heart. Where have you been? What have you been through? What have you learned? Where are you now? Where are you going? Speaking to these questions shows confidence, ownership of your path, and vulnerability, all of which make you a more attractive candidate.
Nailing your elevator pitch also demonstrates self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to know ourselves (strengths, values, preferences) and how others view us (patterns we have, impact we have on others). In recent years, self-awareness has been found to be the most crucial skill for leaders to develop because it allows them to clearly see where they fall short and how to compensate in those areas.
Yet despite it’s acknowledged importance in management positions, it’s in short supply. According to a 17,000 person study conducted by the Hay Research Group, only 19% of female executives and 4% of males interviewed exhibited self-awareness. If you can demonstrate self-awareness by sharing more than just your strengths in an authentic elevator pitch, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
How all the pieces fit together
Your personal elevator pitch is a way for you to connect the dots for yourself and for others by being authentic and vulnerable. It’s a way to create connection by sharing parts of yourself and encouraging others to do the same. And it helps you stand out and be remembered in a sea of others who never go below the surface.
Today I am able to share my personal elevator pitch with confidence because I have accepted that every step of my journey has informed where I am and what I am doing today. It allows me to be confident and authentic — a winning combination in business and in life.
If you’re ready for next steps so you can nail your elevator pitch, start by writing three versions. Then edit them down so saying each one takes roughly 20-30 seconds. Then ask a trusted colleague to listen and tell you which one they think represents you best.