It's the line you dread hearing ... especially if you are just starting out in your industry or if you are new to entrepreneurship ...
"So ... what do you do?"
It's not that you do not love what you do or that you do not want to share your professional passion. It's the fact you have not properly prepared an answer to this question, so you defer to giving your title. WRONG! (It happens all the time. I'll ask someone "What do you do?" and I get his/her title, which prompts me to follow-up with "Okay. So what do you do?")
The key relevance of an elevator pitch is you narrow down to a succinct 30-second presentation the what, why, and how of your profession; you want to inform your listener in a focused way that makes the listener want to say “Really?! That’s what you do?!” and that makes the listener start thinking of either ways to do business with you or the connections he/she can make for you. In short, the elevator pitch must clarify what you do that helps others be better at what they do.
You must clarify what you do that helps your listener be better at what he/she does. Use this 4-part approach every time you pitch yourself or your business, and you make it very clear to your listener what you do, the results you bring your clients, how you're different from your competitors, and how you're on your way (or already there!) to the top floor!
1. Your name, *your title that everyone will understand/what it is you do, and your company affiliation.
2. One sentence identifying your target client, target client's desired result, and unwanted or inconvenient steps you help the client avoid so he/she can achieve that desired result.
3. **Your name and your company affiliation
Let's check out how this looks:
1. NAME, TITLE, AND COMPANY: My name is Bridgett McGowen, and I am a professional speaker at BMcTALKS.
2. TARGET CLIENT, DESIRED RESULT(S), AND INCONVENIENT STEP(S): I help professional women who want to speak with power and executive presence but who do not want to waste time reading books and watching videos that cannot give them real and honest feedback on their presentation skills. (This sentence is said in chunks so the audience really hears it.)
3. NAME AND COMPANY: Bridgett McGowen of BMcTALKS.
4. TAGLINE: Be seen. Be heard. Be great!
Now let's put it all together.
My name is Bridgett McGowen, and I am a professional speaker. I help professionals learn how to speak with power and executive presence but who do not want to waste time trying strategies that do not work or that cannot provide them with real, honest feedback on their presentation skills. Bridgett McGowen of BMcTALKS. Be seen. Be heard. Be great!
Naturally, if you are having a one-on-one conversation, you would likely leave out numbers 3 and 4.
A quick note: Avoid using contractions; say all words in their entirety. One contraction in particular that causes problems is "can't" because if one is not listening closely or is not paying close attention, then it can be mistaken for "can.”
So here's your homework: Clarify your target client, at least one desired result that you provide, and unwanted or inconvenient steps that your target customer can avoid while still achieving the desired result because of how awesome you are!
And if you want some real and honest feedback, drop your 4-part pitch here!
*Avoid giving your official title because rarely does a title mean anything to your listeners unless it's one of those straightforward titles such as "hair stylist” or “realtor." If you want to set yourself apart from others who have the same straightforward titles, then get away from relying too heavily on your title in your elevator pitch, and focus more on number 2 above. Additionally, while C-suite and vice president titles are impressive, avoid using those tittles, too, because when you do, all it communicates is “I have an important title.” Furthermore, titles that are less straight-forward such as "Director of Professional Development and Strategic Alliances” can be too much to unravel to arrive at, in laymen's terms, what a person does. Always endeavor to first communicate to others what you do and the difference you make in the lives of others.
**If your company name and your tagline are similar to each other, and it almost sounds like you are saying the same thing twice, then when you get to numbers 3 and 4, then consider saying the company name, then your name, then the tagline.
Remember to spread the knowledge! LIKE, TWEET, or COMMENT on this post to get the word out to others!
Be seen. Be heard. Be great!
Did you ever wish you could get personal and helpful guidance on improving your presentation skills? Get on the phone with Bridgett for a complimentary 30-minute call to learn how to start making your presentations amazing once and for all! Schedule your call here. It will be the best 30 minutes you have ever spent working on your presentation skills. I guarantee it!
Photograph credit: https://unsplash.com/@danist07