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How to Write and Deliver a Confident Elevator Pitch

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by Angelita Aboukassam
MPI, Ottawa Chapter

You’re on your way to a networking event with competing emotions of excitement and nervousness. Whether it is your first event or hundredth event, the mixed emotions seem familiar every time.

Multiple thoughts come rushing through your head. You think to yourself, "Will I see some familiar faces, make some new sales leads, or connect with someone new? I want to make a good first impression to my new fellow meeting industry professionals but what if I stutter or make a fool out of myself?"

You take a deep breath, get through registration, walk into the reception area and someone walks up to you and says, "What do you do? Where do you work?"

Here are some short and simple tips and tricks on how to write and deliver a confident elevator pitch so that you can prepare and ease right into your first or hundredth networking event without a hitch.

1. The first step in preparing your elevator pitch is having a clear and confident way of answering the generic opening questions:
  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What is your job title?
  • Where do you work?
  • How can I benefit from our conversation?
2. Write all of your thoughts down by simplifying your elevator pitch on paper. As a guideline you can start to draft your pitch using these basic templates:
My name is [your name], I am the [job title] at the [place of work]. I work on the [type of event(s) or name of event(s)]. [One to two lines about your event(s) such as, target audiences, locations, or your key responsibilities to contribute to the event(s).]
My name is [your name], I am the [job title] at the [place of work]. I work with the [market you are in charge of or types of event(s) you oversee]. [One to two lines about your market or event(s), or your key responsibilities to contribute to the market or event(s).]

By adding and customizing your elevator pitch with the one to two lines at the end, you might find a commonality with the person you are networking with. This could lead to a meaningful conversation about people you have in common, mutual locations or venues you have both worked with, or helpful recommendations for a planner or supplier.

3. Delivery is key, now you want to think about how you want to say it.
Practice your elevator pitch out loud. You should not only be familiar with how it sounds on paper, but how it actually sounds out loud. Practice saying it out loud in front of the mirror, to a friend or family member, while you are stuck in rush hour traffic, or on an afternoon walk with your dog.

Here are some tips to remember about your delivery:
  • 30 seconds or less
  • Make it sound original by adding your own personal touch and fare
  • Ensure it does not sound scripted, with practice it will come naturally
  • Avoid a long monologue about your life story
  • Say it with a smile
  • Avoid making it sound like a speech
  • Keep your tone light and friendly
  • Be genuine
  • Don’t forget to breathe
They call it an elevator pitch because it’s meant to represent the short amount of time you are stuck in an elevator with a stranger. Make it memorable and enjoyable, you never know, your new connection could turn out to be a meaningful and long lasting fellow colleague in the meetings industry.

Take these tips and tricks and apply them at your next networking event. The competing emotions of excitement and nervousness before a networking event may never subside, but that’s the thrill of stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new every time you step into the door at another networking event!

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