The Ten Second Pitch
It’s an impatient world. We are all distracted and overloaded. In today’s environment, your personal and professional positioning statement better be short and compelling. Forget the 30 second “elevator pitch.” You’ve got ten seconds. That’s how much time you have to grab someone’s attention. Ten seconds to communicate what you or your company does. Ten seconds that communicates to the other person the one thing they’re thinking: “What’s in it for me?” Whether you’ve just met someone at a networking event, or you’re applying for a job, or initiating a cold call, you’ve got ten seconds to make an impression. It’s brutal, I know.
People make the mistake of thinking that their spiel has to say everything about themselves or their company. They spew out a long monologue during which the other person has already mentally checked out. Their eyes are already wandering around the room looking for someone else more interesting to talk to, or they’ve decided to end the call as soon as they can. Hear that tapping? They’re responding to their email while you’re yammering on. What you want is to stimulate curiosity. You want the other person to ask you questions; preferably, “How do you do that?”
The Focused Ten Second Pitch
Your ten seconds must be centered on the personal benefit. In media, we constantly ask why someone would care about a story. How does it affect them or their family? What solutions are we going to offer? What new information will we impart?
Think of a one-sentence description that would elicit the response, “Tell me more.” If you’re a sales trainer, your one sentence could be, “I help companies double their sales.” A business owner is definitely going to ask how you do that! Then you tell them more. Here are some more examples. Note none of them include the name of the occupation in the sentence. I’ve put the occupation next to the sentence.
“I tell stories that change lives.” (reporter)
“I give peace of mind to families.” (insurance sales)
“I help people find happiness.” (speaker and author)
“I make people laugh.” (standup comedian)
“I help make buying a home easy.” (mortgage broker)
“I help people with life changing events” (therapist)
“I help people get what they want out of life.” (My own statement as a time management expert)
Work on it!
Work on your one sentence. It must feel authentic to you. It should feel good to say. Keep working on it until it feels good. This is much easier than memorizing a 30-second spiel. You’ll find that the extended conversation about what you do will now feel more natural too!
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