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Make Your Story PITCH Perfect

Mary Rosenbaum | November 11th, 2010

Developing your pitch is probably one of the hardest things to do when marketing or selling you or your service. I know that it is more difficult to sell yourself than it is to sell your company or a particular product. You don’t want to brag so instead you understate your abilities, your messaging is not that clear, or you create a laundry list of skills and abilities that are quickly forgotten.

The questions you should ask yourself when developing your pitch are:

– Would they remember it tomorrow?

– Could they repeat it in six months?

– Was your core message clear?

– Did you connect with your listener?

Here are some tips to help you put your pitch together.

1. Make sure you are emphasizing a differentiating skill or ability that is unique to you and that can’t be easily replicated by others over a reasonable period of time. It’s important to communicate how this translates into a better result for your client or employer.

Here is my example:
When I started up an executive recruiting firm focused on the financial services industry I knew that my experience of having worked on the other side of the desk provided me with the ability to understand candidates better when screening them for searches. I knew the industry, understood the language, had better filtering capability, required less involvement from my clients, and completed searches in less time.

2. Create a narrative, a story, that addresses the arc of how you arrived to where you are now, how that impacts what you do, and how it affects the results of who you work for. Making the story personal makes it memorable, interesting, and keeps it authentic. It allows people to connect with you on a very different level than if you were to describe the whole thing in corporate speak.

Here is my example:

My journey from Wall Street to Executive Search to Personal and Leadership Branding and Career Management has provided me with unique insight into how companies think when looking for executives who can lead and how to position yourself so that your differentiating strengths and value added are spotlighted. My passion is to make an impact, to make a difference on people’s lives and each time I came to a fork in the road my internal compass kept pointing me in the direction that fulfilled my need. I know that when I help clients understand, communicate and leverage what is best about themselves I am having a significant impact on their confidence and on their ability to make the right decisions going forward. Their success becomes my success.

3. Include stories that highlight the strengths you bring to the table. Skill based stories are valuable ways to show rather than tell your successes and allows the listener to extrapolate how he/she might benefit from your services or employment. Instead of saying that you are creative tell a story that illustrates your creativity in resolving a problem or issue. I wouldn’t advise telling many of these stories in a pitch but bringing up a story that the listener can relate to because of his/her own needs would be more effective.

4. Test drive your pitch. Try it out on everyone and watch their reactions? Ask for input. Remember, you are trying to make it real and to connect while still providing the information you want them to hear to keep the conversation going.

Do you have some horror stories about delivering your pitch? Share them with me by emailing me direct. Would love to hear some of your stories.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru