Put some personality in the pitch

personal brand elevator pitchWhen I wrote my blog 5 Words We All Dread: “And what do you do?” and chatted about it with people I met, it seemed that no matter what our age or status, this simplest of questions was leaving us stumped.  (Although help is on hand in my follow-up blogs).

Which is why I was interested in Personal Brand Week, an event run in the USA by PwC to help students learn more about the importance of a personal brand and teach them early on how to stand-out in a crowded job market.

Included in the week was a competition to find the best elevator pitch and here’s the winning entry for you to watch: http://www.facebook.com/PwCUSCareers?sk=app_7146470109

So what do you think?

For me, whilst I appreciate Susan’s skill in fitting so much into 30 seconds it didn’t float my boat.  Why? A lot has to do with the cultural differences (defining and sharing your personal brand is in its infancy in the UK and self-promotion of this strength jars).  But just as much has to do with the lack of clues as to who Susan actually is; from all she said, the only bit that stuck in my mind was that she’d spent time in China and could say, “Goodbye” in Mandarin.  

And here’s the point…

People buy people before they buy what they’re selling so there’s a balance to be had between selling them what you can do and selling them who you are (as my personal brand experiment aimed to show). 

 The trouble is, we’ve been brought up to converse only in business speak, just as Susan did: “driven leader”, “committment to excellence”, “passionate advocate”, “thrive on immersion”, etc.  Instead, we should be balancing that out by offering people clues as to what we’re like outside the business environment so they have something more interesting and tangible to connect to.  

Think of the times you’ve been at an event and got chatting to someone about business and, whilst the conversation was OK, it certainly wasn’t riveting.  Then think of the times when a bit of personal information popped into the conversation – maybe the person mentioned they’d spent the weekend rock climbing or were going to see their favourite band.  All of a sudden, the conversation came to life and you started to enjoy the other person’s company – and ultimately bought into their personal brand.

Isn’t that what we should all be aiming for, every time?

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