5-point checklist: mastering your personal pitch
Posted on 11 December 2015
Everyone needs a unique personal pitch from the Service-Desk Administrator to the CEO.
Regardless if you are attending a job interview, at a networking event, making new friends or happen to meet someone you want to work for, your personal pitch will undoubtedly come in handy. Don’t confuse this with an intense sales pitch. It is a short and succinct way to describe yourself and your values to stand out professionally.
Generally, this does not come easily for us, as in New Zealand we tend to be modest and self-conscious when discussing positive attributes about our character and capabilities. Yet, it is essential that we can do this. The best way to feel comfortable speaking about yourself is to prepare, practice, continually update and perfect!
So where do you start?
Well, there's no better time than the present to create your unique personal pitch. Now grab a pen and paper and we’ll make it easy for you by running you through our 5-point checklist. This checklist will help you formulate the material that you may include in your pitch.
1. Write down your key experiences
While you may have significant experience across many industries and verticals, it is prudent that you identify two key roles from your recent history that encapsulate your varied experiences. Look for roles that call upon your key competencies that align with your passions and make you want to get out of bed every morning.
2. Write down what makes you special
We are all generally aware that the market has no shortage of smart characters and is more competitive than ever before. You must ensure that you identify the attributes that make you stand out in this crowded landscape. These points of difference will leave a lasting impression to the person listening to your pitch.
3. Write down what your unique professional perspectives are
You will have intricate experience in a specific area that means you can speak with knowledgeable insights and perspectives at hand. For example, I've worked with technology and the health industry for many years, meaning I have a sound understanding of the systems and processes that are prevalent in this landscape. I can offer a perspective that those outside of the health and technology industry may not have.
4. Write down what makes you good at your job
It is extremely important in your pitch, that you identify the key capabilities that make you a subject matter expert in your field, and the reason why your manager simply had to hire you over the competition.
Here is your chance to present not only your technical but also your soft skills. Being able to effectively network and build connections can often be the critical factor in creating new opportunities for yourself (and in turn, your prospective employer). How we interact with people we encounter on a daily basis can sometimes make the biggest difference.
5. Write down what people can expect from you
Here is an opportunity to answer the question, ‘What would your colleagues say about you.’ These could include: I am a person who always delivers on promises, I take my commitments seriously, I'm honest and I operate with integrity.
Now it’s time to bring it all together
Sharing your personal pitch is your chance to tell a quick story about yourself, both personal and professional. The points above should give you sufficient content to create a very compelling story. Success is ultimately based on being short, sharp and to the point, especially as you navigate your listener through your story. Be assured that if they want to hear more, they will ask, so leave them wanting more by keeping it short.
Start your story with the past (remember to keep it brief) and then move on to where you are now, and what your aspirations are for the future. Try to stick to roughly to two minutes. You can practice in front of the mirror, your friends or even in front of your pet dog. The trick is to make it sound natural - and with practice, it will. Seek feedback from friends and use this to perfect your pitch.
Don’t worry about how it looks or sounds at the start. Over time, it will change as you grow and develop your strengths and passions. Now go ahead and make a start!