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The Elevator Pitch

The Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch can be a powerful introduction.

Jodi Glickman Brown | Great on the Job

Do you struggle to introduce yourself to new colleagues, make the rounds at your organization or just sound smart when you extend your hand to a client? The elevator pitch is a much-maligned but oh-so-useful tool to have in your back pocket for just those occasions.

I wrote a post for HBR on nailing your elevator pitch that outlined the Great on the Job strategy to make a powerful introduction. The three key steps include:

• Thinking relevant, not recent

• Focusing on skills-based qualifications versus industry or experience-based

• Connecting the dots

Last week, Peter, a retired trade-show executive, participated in a GOTJ training workshop at Kellogg. Peter had recently joined a non-profit board and had been asked to provide a brief bio to the board. He had planned on including his typical spiel—30 years of experience building and running trade shows in North America.

The non-profit had just lots its spiritual leader, was losing members faster than it was gaining new ones, and was going through an identity crisis of sorts. As Peter thought about introducing himself to the board as the trade show guy, he realized that snapshot didn’t really do him justice. How did trade show executive communicate the sense of value and purpose Peter hoped to bring to the board? Why and how was it relevant?

After sitting through the GOTJ training, a light bulb went off for Peter. What he had in fact done for 30 years of his career was build communities. He had brought buyers and sellers together. What he could and would help this non-profit do was rebuild their fractured community. His experience as a trade show executive was actually directly relevant and transferrable—he just needed to change his thinking around what it was he was skilled at.

After the presentation, Peter came up and thanked me. He said he would have never connected the dots without the GOTJ strategy. “I was so focused on ‘recent’ that I never took a step back to focus on ‘relevant’ he said. Once I did, I was able to connect the dots and it was crystal clear that I’ve been building communities for the past 30 years.”

How can you change your mindset from being a tradeshow executive to a builder of communities?

This article was originally published on Great on the Job.

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