Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to create an elevator pitch (part 1)

Author: Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA

What is an elevator pitch? There are many explanations, but essentially it’s about “selling” yourself by describing in thirty seconds or less, who you are and why someone else should care.

An elevator pitch for you is probably as essential as a business card. You need to be able to say who you are, what you do, what you are interested in doing and how you can be a valuable resource in a short enough time period that you don’t lose the interest of the other person. Most people won’t want to listen for more than a minute and many busy people (and everyone is busy) will listen for a shorter time than that.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you build your elevator pitch.

Get quiet with yourself first: Make sure you know what you really want to communicate. Ask yourself some focusing questions. Can your point be boiled down to one sentence? If not, it probably needs clarifying.

Have a provocative opening: Stories work well for this. They tend to paint a picture in the listener’s mind and help build that emotional connection.

Make sure you have one main point you want to get across to your listener. Once you figure that out, figure out why your listener should care. If you can say it in a way that the listener cares about, he or she is much more likely to “hear” it.

If you remember nothing else, remember this tip for your elevator pitch: keep it simple! Remember, you want this to be a 30-45 SECOND (not minute) monologue.

About the author:

Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.  She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance.  She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States. To read more about Dr. Mudge-Riley, click here.

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