Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Practice Your Elevator Pitch – It Makes a Difference

Today we shot video of senior executives, owners and CEOs from 24 companies that had been nominated for an annual business recognition program (Association for Corporate Growth-Orange County, Annual Awards Gala). Lots of fun and incredible people!

The set-up: Executives come to a central location where they are able to network with other nominees and sponsors, spend time with the judging panels talking about their company, and sit for a brief video session so we can gather footage for playback during the Gala event.

During the taping session one of the statements the executives were asked to make was, "In 30 seconds or less, describe what your company does". The results were very telling.

  • Executives that did the recording session before participating in the networking or time with the judging panel struggled to be concise and confident in describing their company. It usually took several minutes and multiple attempts before we had video we could work from.
  • Executives that networked and sat in front of the judging panel before being in front of the camera nailed it almost every time, the first time. And, they spoke with passion and confidence.
The difference of course is the the latter group, in the moment, had time to practice. They were meeting new people and had to constantly answer the "What does your company do?" question, and talk about the category in which they were nominated. The former group came in cold.

I am certain the former group thought hard about what to say about their company, maybe even had a prepared script they wrote themselves or received from their marketing people. But, there is no experience like being "on the spot" and answering questions.

My recommendation: Practice, practice, practice. Not just out-loud to yourself in your car or office. Practice in front of people – your staff, your marketing department, your family... ANYONE! Your ability to tell people what you do without the experience turning into an epic could be the difference between interest and boredom.