Do you believe in yourself?
It seems silly to ask, but if we’re being truly honest, sometimes we surprise ourselves with the answer. Everyone has had a moment where they’ve doubted their abilities, worried about failure, or worst of all, didn’t even give their goal a shot because they convinced themselves that they’d be unsuccessful. When it comes to guiding your career in the right direction, that little voice inside your head can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Self-confidence is extremely important to almost every part of your life, so it goes without saying that it’s critical to your professional successes. In addition to the self-confidence that revs your personal engine is the confidence that others must have in you. Employers and colleagues need to see that you are dedicated, capable, and unwavering in your belief that you can and will do what you say you’ll do.
Developing an Elevator Pitch
One of the best exercises you can do in order to work on building your confidence is developing your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is basically a pre-prepared casual explanation of your career objectives, mission and value set, created to spark someone else’s interest and hopefully lead into a deeper conversation or a networking opportunity. It’s an especially helpful device because you can refer to it when creating cover letters and tailoring resumes; ensuring that your message is consistent throughout your offering. The beauty of developing the elevator pitch is that it forces you to determine a few things:
- Your personal goals
- Your moral and ethical outlook in relation to your career
- Your knack for public speaking (or where it may need work!)
All of which work to build your confidence. If you know who you are as a person and what you stand for, you can build self-esteem and value within yourself. Perfect, isn’t it?
An effective elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name. It needs to be simple, but appealing. It is just a very brief description of what you hope to achieve in your professional life. It invites your listener to want to hear more. So how do you avoid rambling and losing their interest? These are a few tips to guide you in creating a super elevator pitch:
- Identify your goal (What is your objective? What do you want to tell the potential clients or employers about yourself or your organization?)
- Explain what you do (Start your pitch by describing what you or your organization does.)
- Communicate what makes you the best (Sell yourself!!!)
- Prepare open-ended questions (Questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”.)
- Put it all together (Read aloud and time yourself….effective pitches are no longer than 30 seconds)
- Practice, Practice, Practice (The more you practice, the less rehearsed it sounds.)
Your elevator pitch can be used in numerous situations; in addition to using it to support your overall message in resumes and cover letters, you can use it while at a networking event. Most importantly an elevator pitch is great to use during a job interview when they ask the million dollar question: “Tell us about yourself.” While we’re on the subject of job interviews, yes, your pitch is about what you can do, but remember that you need to detail what you can do for them. You want the interviewer to feel confident that you’re knowledgeable about the position and that you love what you do and you will love what you do for them.
What to Include In Your Elevator Pitch
- Name and Years of Experience
- Great Skill or Assets
- Example of how you demonstrated those capabilities (Benefits-Profit Prestige-Results in terms of making the company money, saving money, implementing a new program.)
- Ask for the next steps (What positions do you have that would benefit from your capabilities and results above?)
Of course, in working to create a great elevator pitch, you want it to flow so that it seems effortless. Practicing and memorizing your mini-speech until you know it like the back of your hand will help you exude confidence during showtime. This will also help you simplify it and tweak it to whomever is listening. We all know practice makes perfect, but it shouldn’t sound rehearsed, even though it is, kind of (shh—we won’t tell if you won’t). Additionally, if you can memorize it, your audience will be able to as well, which means they’ll walk away with you in mind.
Appearance and confidence matter even more than what you actually say. Pay close attention to the non-verbal signals you give during your pitch. How will you know if your pitch was a success? Your body language will be relaxed, your words will flow at just the right pace, and you’ll be cool under pressure, because you know what you’re talking about.
What you do excites you, right? Your face lights up when you talk about it and you gesture wildly with your hands when discussing the details of your role. You want to share this obsession to your audience. If you love what you do (or what you hope to do in the future), your passion for it will be self-evident, and even if you found it difficult to express your passion for it before, using the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to speak confidently. If your audience couldn’t care less about your chosen path before you began speaking, having a great elevator pitch spoken with confidence will have them genuinely interested and have a number of questions lined up.
Take a deep breath. The biggest step in landing your dream gig is believing you even have a shot. Confidence goes a long way in visualizing yourself in that perfect role. Have faith in yourself and stay true to all of your goals, both large and small. If you’re happy with yourself and what you represent, you can be certain your first impression will be your best one.