Do You Have Perfect Pitch…

photo-45.jpgCould you describe yourself or your uniqueness in 30 seconds or less.  This is the essence of the “elevator pitch”.

The elevator pitch, for those of you who are not familiar with the concept, is a quick explanation, in say 30 seconds, of an idea, or a product.  Ideally this should be achieved in 100 to 150 words or less. 

Cut to the chase! 

Get to the point! 

You now have the blessing of my attention for 30 seconds, so pitch me.

For a lot of us, this is difficult, nay impossible, we just have too much to say about ourselves and need to make long-winded explanations of who we are and what we do. 

In short, not one likes to edit themselves. 

The pitch has been used in the movie industry for years to grab the interest of film producers and executives (who, surprisingly, seem to have tiny little attention spans).  For example, the pitch for Alien was, “Jaws in space”.  That clinched the deal with 20th Century Fox and the film got the green light.

It was three simple words with heavy weight meaning to a studio executive – Jaws was a mega-hit horror film and space meant Star Wars also a mega-hit.  Combine them together and you couldn’t miss.

It didn’t stop there.  Once the film was made a second pitch was used to sell it to its audience – “In space no one can hear you scream”.  The combination of these two pitches made for a successful inning for Fox and Alien’s producers (no more ugly sports metaphors, I promise). 

So getting back to the point, why not use this technique to sell ourselves?  Why not indeed.  When you are selling yourself and your services – or your abilities – you should be able to paraphrase what you have to offer in a few simple words that anyone could relate to.

Notice that I said “relate to”? 

What is the magic formula we all can relate to?

Obviously, for a film executive it’s box office success.  Of course, Jaws conjures up more than just a box office hit – it is a ripping horror film with a huge and very mean protagonist – thereby creating a second promise.  Alien – “Jaws in space” – is going to be a intense horror film. 

So we need to pack our pitch with meaning for the receiver.  It has to catch attention and excite the imagination.  It has to motivate the receiver to action.  In the case of Alien – to see the film – in your case to hear more about your proposal, idea or self.

I once met a man who introduced himself as the “gadget guy”.  His business was incentive products and from what he told he was quite successful at it.  This doesn’t surprise me from the way he promoted himself by using his ‘pitch’ on everyone he meets.  He used it as his introduction.

In a social or business situation, we normally introduce ourselves by name and then wait until we are asked “what do you do?”.  This usually leads to a long explanation of our uniqueness (or lack of it). 

The Gadget Guy gets things rolling right off the top.   

As a “creative” person I have been considering how I could best pitch myself to prospective clients or in networking situations.   

It’s a challenge – create a pitch for yourself or your services or your idea in as few words as possible and then use it as your standard introduction.  It’s like writing copy for billboards; you have to be both brief and catch the viewers imagination.    

If you have created the perfect pitch for yourself, send it along I would love to highlight it here.   

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