Why do professionals, executives and directors need to know about pitching and personal branding?
A term marketer’s use, which is especially true for personal branding, is:
“Brand or be branded”.
Your pitch gives you an opportunity to brand yourself in the way you want be seen, rather than leaving it to an internet search or hearsay.
Watch the webinar I ran with Shirley Anne Fortina on pitching.
You’ll create and deliver different pitches throughout your career. The most common places are:
- Online profiles
- Resume (summary section)
- Networking (internally and externally)
- Personal interactions
- Professional situations (meetings, introducing yourself to new team members)
- Job searching
- Giving presentations
There are three overarching parameters for your pitch:
- Emotional Intelligence
The main skill you need, to deliver a relevant pitch in any context, is emotional intelligence (also known as EQ). EQ comprises of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill.
The pitch is about you, and it’s about them.
An example I would give is when I was at a conference last year, I struck up a conversation with a woman whom I thought was another attendee, but was actually a sponsor and presenter. When I said hello she immediately launched into her pre prepared pitch about how she had studied at an Ivy League university and was heading up growth the Asia Pacific region for a job board. This felt quite pretentious; he approach lacked both empathy and social skill. I was, of course impressed, by her Ivy League education, but I wasn’t warm by how she delivered her pitch to me, she didn’t leave any room for small talk.
As Tim Ferris said “Small talk is the big talk”.
She went straight to be big talk and it turned me off!
Here’s some quick tips for delivering your pitch:
- Be clear and consistent.
- Capture attention in an appropriate manner.
- Build rapport by finding areas of common interest.
- Talk about what you are aiming towards. People love helping other people achieve their goals.
- Rehearse until you feel comfortable with it.
- People think in sound bites, keep it succinct.
- Keywords! Google has taught us to use keywords to filter conversations as well as online content.
- Be sincere, empathetic, human!
- Start with small talk.
- Maintain comfortable eye contact.
- Turn up your emotional intelligence skills.
- Have a long-term perspective on everyone you meet.
- Don’t waffle. People will switch off if you launch into a long-winded diatribe.
- Don’t fall into the trap of talking about your chronological career in your short pitch. Start with most recent role first.
- Avoid jargon unless talking with an industry insider.
- Don’t rush, don’t dawdle.
I use my natural talents of ___ and ___ skills to have an impact in the ___ industry.
Example: I use my expertise in executive search, recruitment and job search to help professionals make strategic career moves.
I’m ___ from ___ (name, role, industry)
I’ve been working in ___ and ___ (brief background)
I’m interested to ____ (aspirations, interests, goals)
Example: I run an executive search, recruitment and career management consultancy.
I’ve been working in this field for more than 10 years and its a profession I love.
I’m interested to find ways to better leverage new technology and deepen my knowledge of my profession.
LinkedIn and Resume Summary
I’m a ___ with 15+ years of experience leading ___. I’ve managed teams to deliver ___.
Remember: Write your LinkedIn summary in the first person, not the third person!
Job search pitch when networking
Hi, my name is______
How are you enjoying ____? / How is your day going? (Or another question)
What field of work are you in? / What type of work do you do?
I’ve recently____. I’m looking for _____.
It’s been great talking with you / great to meet you. Is it ok if I make contact with you again?
“The most common personal branding mistake that I see, both among millennials and older workers, is not focusing enough on developing your narrative. That may sound frivolous: isn’t the real work sending out resumes, or networking at events, or putting in overtime at your job to get noticed? But the truth is, you need to be able to tell a clear compelling story about your past and why it will add value to the new endeavor you’re pursuing. Most of us assume we can skip this step, isn’t it obvious to others? But they’re not paying that close attention to you or your resume, and the transitions that may seem clear to you (why you left grad school to launch a start-up, or shifted from HR into sales) may be confusing to others. Having a solid explanation that succinctly captures what you can bring to the table, and why, can be your most powerful tool in personal branding.”
—Dorie Clark, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.
Your brand is more than your elevator pitch: https://youtu.be/-KlHdcxIpXs
The Job Search Elevator Pitch
Body language – How to look confident
Emotional Intelligence – Harvard Business Review
Tim Ferris – Small talk is the big talk
LeanIn – Know your strengths, own your strengths