Last night, I gave my “What Do You Do? 3 Steps To A Perfect Elevator Pitch” workshop to the Harvard Business School (HBS) Alumni Club of Washington, DC. At dinner, I sat beside Julia, a woman with a great deal of passion, a wonderful smile and disposition, and a jargon-filled elevator pitch.
During our conversation, Julia directly asked me, “Can I tell you my elevator pitch, before you start?” I smiled and responded, “of course.” After she told me what she did, she self-admitted that it was “verrrryyy technical.” And she said followed with something like, “At networking events, I only talk with people that understand my jargon, my world. If they don’t get it that’s okay. Then that means, I wasn’t meant to talk with them.”
I nodded politely. Then I gestured around the room. And I said, “Julia, look around the room. You have 50 friends, colleagues, and HBS alumni. There are 50 potential clients, there are 50 potential referring individuals, and there are 50 potential partners. Don’t underestimate relationships, you stories, and how others are telling your story.” She smiled with a little “aha moment” smile. Julia said, “Oh, I didn’t think of that.” At the end of the workshop, she promised to email me in a month with a reworked version.
Great Stories Travel TM is a phrase I often use. An elevator pitch is just the beginning of your great story. It serves to pique interest and to be your “persistent” and memorable verbal calling card. When you have your second meeting, third, and fourth, are your messages, stories, and visuals easy to understand? Compelling? Actionable?
To sustain success, your stakeholders must able to know and appreciate your story and the value your organization brings.
If you have a complex service or have high stakes presentations where your data and research need to be inspiring and actionable, consider our public speaking and storytelling coaching services, Paint by Numbers workshop, and our Data Storytelling service.
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Photography Source: Wikipedia