Everyone knows knows that if you run a startup you need an “elevator pitch,” a description of your business that’s pithy enough to capture the attention of a potential investor in the length of an elevator ride.
You know what else needs an elevator pitch? You.
You need to have a practiced, smooth, two- to three-sentence, “I’m so-and-so and this is who I am and what I do” at the ready. It takes practice, so know that you’re working on this and play with it until it is right.
To be effective, your personal elevator pitch needs to be direct, simple, energetic, enthusiastic, genuine and unapologetic. The last word – unapologetic – is the surprising one. It’s amazing how often people belie, in what they say or how they say it, that they are not proud (or feel like they’re not supposed to be proud) of who they are and what they do.
This is a shame, because I bet what you do is worth doing, and I bet the person you’re talking to believes that as well.
So, if just for this moment, keep your inner critic hidden away and pitch yourself with pride.
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(P.S. If you are a professional fundraiser this one takes on extra significance. Often fundraisers either don’t like describing themselves as “fundraisers” – so they stumble over how to describe themselves – or they do say they are “fundraisers” but then make caveats or other kinds of apologies. Since every fundraiser, as a representative of the organization, is selling themselves first, it’s doubly important to get this right.)