July 31, 2012

We all know the importance of making a good impression with a potential client or employer. If you’re anything like me, the idea of the elevator pitch makes you cringe. Knowing that the next 30 to 60 seconds can basically make or break your chances with a person is enough to make you take the stairs.

However, it has to be done. Networking is essential to getting where you want to go and to meeting the right people. In an industry as competitive as IT, who you know is just as important as what you know. That being said, here are 6 tips for IT professionals on perfecting that pitch and ensuring that all of your elevator rides are stress-free:

  1. Write Out Your Pitch. Take the time to create a written version of your pitch. Write down multiple ways to describe your accomplishments and what you do for a living. It will allow you to organize your thoughts and get it just right.
  2. Keep It Short. As I said earlier, your pitch should only be 30 to 60 seconds long. Summarize the important points about who you are and what you do. There will be time to discuss the details later after you dazzle them.
  3. Keep It Simple. Avoid using incredibly complicated IT jargon. We know you’re an expert at what you do and can probably code in your sleep. However, do not assume that the person you’re talking to understands the complex, technical details about what you do. Use vocabulary they understand. Tell them about the end product, not about every detail it took to get there.
  4. Practice Makes Perfect. When you deliver your pitch it needs to sound natural, not memorized. Recite your pitch out loud to yourself to familiarize yourself with the words. Also, consider practicing it with a friend or family member. See what feedback, if any, that person has about what you recited. Take what they say and make tweaks as necessary.
  5. Know What You Want. The goal of the elevator pitch is to accomplish something. Do you want a business card? Ask for it. An opportunity to send in your resume? Ask for it. Whatever thereason is, make sure you try to accomplish your goal.
  6. Keep Them Interested. You’ve given them the most impressive and interesting 30 to 60 seconds of their life, right? Don’t end it there. Offer to send them examples of things you have done. Ask if they would be willing to meet for coffee to chat more. Even if they do not have an opportunity for you now, that doesn’t mean they won’t have one for you in the future.

These are just a few tips about how to make a great impression in the IT world. Do you have any tips you would like to add? If so, tell us in the comments below. Happy elevator riding! Going up?

Posted By: Briana Perrino

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