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Could anyone provide me with pointers on an elevator pitch?

Veteran

christina martinson Clarksville, TN

I am currently transitioning out and switching fields from medical to information technology. I hold a secret clearance and a 4 year bachelor degree.

21 May 2019 16 replies Interviews

Answers

Advisor

Mark Medaglia Southington, CT

Hi Christina,

Honestly, that depends on whether you are pitching yourself or an idea. In general, both should be short and stick to the facts.

With an idea pitch, I've found success by distilling the idea down to 2 sentences that consist of what the idea is, and why its beneficial to the company you are working for or the individual you are speaking with. From there, you can flesh it out to 3-5 Sentences, but keep it succinct. Really focus on the why its beneficial using facts. Depending on your comfort level, you may want to practice until you know it by heart.

If you are pitching yourself, I've found success by introducing myself with name and title. I'll typically continue with what my specialties are and something I'm working on currently that is germane to the person I'm interacting with. From there, I typically ask a question. That question is either related to something I know they are working on (you might need to do a little research) or is a bit more opened ended (I.E. asking them what they are working on).

I've found the best way to walk away with the other person saying, "Hey, lets talk further." is to make a real connection. You likely won't "impress" someone with an elevator pitch, but that's not your goal. You're goal is to get to a point where you can continue the conversation at a later date.

I hope this helps.

21 May 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

The following questions are based on an exercise I've used frequently with people being trained to deliver a service. The questions are definitely in the same categories that others have suggested (Who? What? etc.). This is a "fill in the blank" structure that you could easily modify to make it fit your personal statement:

• Who is the target customer?
• What is the customer need?
• What is the product name? (You)
• What is its market category?
• What is its key benefit?
• Who or what is the competition?
• What is the product’s unique differentiator?

The pitch structure:

For (target customer), who has (need), (product) YOU, are a (Market Catergory ) PROFESSIONAL??? with (Key Benefits) that is unlike (the Competition) -- what differentiates you?

This has helped people develop several alternatives -- each of which is still short. The biggest problem I had helping people develop Elevator Pitches before using this exercise is people creating pitches that were way to long!!!

20 July 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

Good advice from Mark. I would look back in your career and see if you have a story about implementation of an IT system while you were in the medical field and how your background assisted in the implementation or how your new knowledge would have helped. You want to carry that same "process" into the new company but with new skills.

22 May 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Ryan Brown Melbourne, FL

Really good feedback.

Advisor

James Mingey Oregon City, OR

If you haven't already, check out Patriot Boot Camp

Advisor

Venkat Narayanan San Jose, CA

Hi Christina, the common thread in everyone's guidance is prep work. The more you prepare and practice, the more natural the delivery. The more you know about your audience pain points, the more relevant your pitch will be. People will respond to your pitch only when there is something in it for them. When you approach them, be honest and open about your intentions, no gimmicks to grab their attention.

The second important point is, a successful elevator pitch will resonate only with your audience, so don't feel bad if you don't hit the mark. Oh ... that means, you need to know your audience before you pitch and try to pitch only to your target audience (otherwise you might frustrate the other person and get frustrated too).

Be sure to test the pitch with as many people as you can; improve it only if you miss the mark with your target audience. Test the pitch with strangers and ask them why the message did not resonate. Be cautious with the advice you get, most people will feel obligated to give advice even if they don't know what they are talking about and may unknowingly mislead you. Trust your gut on how to adjust your pitch.

This book may give you more tips, and also the science behind a pitch: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004H4XL7E/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_7tWrDbVCK74NN. Finally, if the elevator pitch works, you should be ready to follow thru.

One more resource: http://elevatorpitchessentials.com/essays/ElevatorPitch.html

Good luck, and thank you for your service!

Advisor

Storm Cunningham Arlington, VA

The most effective structure for any communication designed to motivate someone to do anything---whether it's a 30-second elevator pitch or a 60-minute keynote---is AIDPA.

ATTENTION: Say something that gets their full attention. If you don't have that, nothing else you say will make any difference.

INTEREST: Stimulate their interest in your offering by "sticking your finger in the wound". In other words, make them aware of a new problem they have, or remind them of an old problem they've become used to.

SOLUTION: Tell them how your offering eliminates or ameliorates that problem.

PROOF: Offer evidence (such as a third-party testimonial) that what you've said is true. If your solution isn't credible, your request for action will go nowhere.

ACTION: Tell them what you want them to do, and keep it simple. It should probably be a quick, easy step towards what you ultimately want, such as an interview, rather than a job offer.

Good luck!

Advisor

Philip Kang San Antonio, TX

With "30 seconds in an elevator" one way to pitch oneself is to describe one's personal brand i.e. "who am I, and how am I special" told in the form of a life-story, special talent, or different energy brought to the conversation. Be ready to go beyond "hi, how's it going?" It takes advance practice, thoughtfulness, and some creativity.

I remember once at a Fortune 50 company, catching a very senior executive going the opposite direction in a stairwell, wanting to say more than "hello" though knowing she would be pressed for time. I "squeezed in" a very fast "here's what I'm excited about at work" conversation which led to some unique opportunities for me down the road. The key for me was simply being ready i.e. if I get the chance to chat with so-and-so, what am I going to say?!

Hope this helps, and best wishes in your preparation!

Advisor

Denise Kalm Walnut Creek, CA

One key factor in this is the application of your current skills and any training to the specific IT job - some are more closely aligned than others. You probably bring some power soft skills, mostly lacking in IT. The best way to approach this is to ask one of us to help you with specifics. It's hard to give you the best advice with the minimal info here. But it's pretty easy, once you share your medical res and your IT goals. I've been in IT for over 30 years and transitioned from the sciences, so I do get you.

Advisor

Louis Schwarz Somerville, NJ

Hi Christina. You have a great advantage going into the IT field. There is a great need in the area of hospital and patient systems for developers, implementations, transitions, and staff that understand the medical issues and how to translate them into IT solutions that fit the issues. Check with the medical systems providers or consulting firms that have a practice in the medical areas. Good luck..

Advisor

Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

A very simple and powerful way to create an elevator pitch is to follow this simple formula.
Start with identifying the problem you solve. For example do you know how difficult it is to ensure you will be able to retire at age 65. Then state your solution -what we do is develop a customized plan that has been used successfully by over 4,500 retirees.
Obviously you are trying to solve a problem that the person you are speaking with has. And are providing a solution that leads them to saying, "How Do You Do That?"

Advisor

Jo Prabhu Long Beach, CA

Your whole life, including your elevator pitch should be just about the following simple 6 key Questions: Who, What, Where, Why, When and How.

Veteran

Philip Ayles Steilacoom, WA

The elevator pitch is your commercial of who you are and what you can do to solve problems. It is the broader concern of getting someone interested in your abilities and talents. Think about how you want to meet the professional organization you want to be a part of. Tailor your response to be concise within a 30 sec time frame. Hit the key points to make you stand out from the crowd.

Draw their interests and leave them wanting to know more about you. Networking as much as possible will undoubtedly give you the confidence to articulate your insights.

Conduct informational interviews with the decision makers of the organization. Make sure you treat everyone you interact with using kindness.

Phil

Veteran

Philip Ayles Steilacoom, WA

The elevator pitch is your commercial of who you are and what you can do to solve problems. It is the broader concern of getting someone interested in your abilities and talents. Think about how you want to meet the professional organization you want to be a part of. Tailor your response to be concise within a 30 sec time frame. Hit the key points to make you stand out from the crowd.

Draw their interests and leave them wanting to know more about you. Networking as much as possible will undoubtedly give you the confidence to articulate your insights.

Conduct informational interviews with the decision makers of the organization. Make sure you treat everyone you interact with using kindness.

Phil

Advisor

Susana Moraga Hayward, CA

Christiana,
You've received some good pointers, what's most important is first what will catch their attention and make them want to listen.
Depending upon your circumstances just like a resume, you should have a few at hand since you are in a job search mode.
Good luck,

Advisor

Jeanne Perdue Houston, TX

Networking Event self-introduction example:
"Hi, I'm Christina Martinson. I've served in the Army for four years and have a secret clearance. I am transitioning from the medical field to information technology, and I'm looking for ways that digitalization can save consumers billions of dollars in health care costs, which is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy."

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