How to pitch … YOU

Last week Nadine and I attended an event in Sydney – and part of that event gave us the opportunity to pitch generationYOU. So in the spirit of saying YES, Nad decided to take up the challenge. There was just one catch … she only had two minutes. And I’m not talking 2-ish minutes, I’m talking cut off mid-sentence 2 minutes.

It was a crazy challenge … how do you condense everything about the business you love into such a short amount to time? What generationYOU is, why we do what we do, the results we have achieved, where we are taking the business and the impact we have made – all of that squished into 120 seconds?!

The short answer – it’s really tough! There were endless drafts, lots of practice and a good dose of swearing at the timer because 2 minutes is just not long enough. In the end Nadine did an absolutely incredible job of it. I had the privilege of sitting in the audience and listening to her spend those precious 2 minutes pitching what we do and it made me feel so incredibly proud of all that generationYOU is.

It also got me thinking …

Pitching your business should be no different to pitching yourself, yet despite spending hours and hours polishing your CV and cover letter, how much time have you taken to polish how you sell yourself?

And the more I think about it, the crazier it is; because the very first question I will ask someone in an interview is “tell me about yourself” and 99% of the time the answer – which could shape the entire interview – is answered very averagely.

There are those people who will spend 5 minutes verbally outlining their CV (which I generally have printed in front of me already). Another popular approach is to run through a few highlights and then finish with an awkward “and now I’m here.” Then there are those that seem genuinely surprised with the question, mumble a few disconnected points and hope that we will quickly move onto the next question.

It’s a HUGE missed opportunity!

You need to be able to pitch yourself.

Let’s start with the scenario – imagine your dream job … that job that is so good it would make you excited to jump out of bed in the morning … the one you have been dreaming about for as long as you can remember.

Now let’s make it a bit more real – last night you found out that you have an interview.

They have already read your CV and cover letter – it’s what got you in the door. Now how do you make sure the real life version of you lives up to what you sold on paper?

Their first question is: tell us a bit about yourself. It’s time to pitch.

Here’s the rules:

The objective is to entice and excite the interviewer about you – at the end of the pitch they should feel like they made the right choice by asking you in for the interview.
> You have two minutes (not a second longer).
> No visual aids. No props. Just you telling your story.

Your pitch should cover:

1 // A bit about you (why you love marketing/working with animals/being a nurse/being a performer etc.)
2 // Some of the stuff you have already done
3 // What you are looking for in the next challenge
4 // Why you applied for this particular role

It needs to sound natural … even though you will need to rehearse it A LOT to get it down to two minutes … you need to tell a natural story. It has to flow and make sense, and you want to build intrigue so that the interviewer is excited about continuing the conversation with you.

Now here’s the kicker: the only person who can write your story is YOU. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Two different people with similar backgrounds may tell stories that are 100% different – because the best bit about your pitch is that you are telling your own story. What you include and what you emphasise are entirely up to you.

So are you up for the challenge? Can you pitch yourself in 2 minutes?

I’d love to hear how you get on with this one!