Recently I got the opportunity to attend a Student-Alumni Networking Event hosted by the Career Center. A variety of Temple alumni (even some PRowl alums!) came to give the students a chance to practice networking, especially concentrating on the elevator pitch. Below are a few points I took from the workshop:
- Keep it Short: They don’t call it the 30-second pitch for nothing. Be sure to keep your pitch short when networking, as people naturally have short attention spans. At a networking event you will probably be speaking to a large volume of people, having a short, quality pitch will enable you to give your basic stats to more people.
- Keep it Simple: You only have a short time to pitch yourself to other professionals. While you want them to get a feel of who you are, both personally and professionally, keep in mind that you’re just meeting them. Using confusing jargon or bouncing back and forth from one idea to another will likely confuse the other person. This one was hard for me, because I wanted to get out everything about myself I could, eventually I learned that I don’t have to get everything out in one breath, an elevator pitch doesn’t always mean talking for 30 seconds straight with no breaks. Introduce yourself, give the other person the chance to introduce themselves, and go from there.
- What Makes You Different? What can you do that sets you apart from everyone else? An elevator pitch essentially involves selling yourself as a professional. So why should the person you’re networking with keep in touch with you? In my elevator pitch, I used the fact that I intend to go to medical school after I graduate in order to draw in attention. That sets me apart and will give the other person something to remember me by.
- Sign Off with a Good Handshake: Thank them for their time, exchange business cards, encourage keeping in touch, and end with a good, firm handshake. Something that everyone I connected with at Careers 101 seemed to value was a firm handshake. It seems minute and trivial, but a good handshake exudes confidence and security, traits that employers definitely value.
Do you have an elevator pitch? What do you think are essentials? Let us know!