By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
Have you ever bumped into your company’s CEO in the elevator ride up and realized that you had nothing smart to say? Or, when he tried initiating a conversation, you were tongue-tied? Legend says that Steve Jobs’ favorite question to Apple employees in the office elevator was “So, what are you working on?” leaving them petrified for days after the ride! While entrepreneurs and salesperson are familiar with the ‘elevator pitch’, others need it when meeting with the Big Boss at internal networking events, at office parties, during overseas visits and of course the elevator. For a compelling elevator pitch:
- Prepare: Although extroverts display ability to effortless ‘wing it’, like stand-up comedy, an elevator pitch is not impromptu – you have to prepare for an hour to create impact in a minute. To prevent being caught off-guard, prepare a crisp response to “What sets you apart from the others in the company?”
- Topics: Using these time-tested topics, add a compelling nugget which makes you memorable:
- Your work: Mention your name, department and a recent accomplishment which highlights your abilities e.g. “Hello. I’m Arati Gupta from the marketing team. I am currently working on the latest ad campaign for our successful xyz” – he’ll remember you, as in his mind you get linked with a profit-making product.
- Your CEO’s achievements: Always works! e.g. “Yesterday, your speech at our leadership academy was very informative and thought-provoking”.
- Make a social connect: Conduct small talk to create a social relationship that stretches beyond your work e.g. Boss’s hobby, a common interest or your similar background (same school / college/ hometown).
- Rehearse: Visualize this meeting, focus on your performance and rework, if needed. Keep it conversational-style and concise ( CEOs meet several new people in their work day). Lastly, speak with energy and enthusiasm, displaying your love for your job.