When should you pitch yourself? When you really think about it, our lives are a series of opportunities to pitch. It could be the pitch to get into college, to get a job, to land a promotion, to network with someone we admire, to negotiate better pay, to gain a new client, or perhaps to sell in a new idea. Whether we realize it or not, our careers and overall success is dependent on our ability to pitch and use the power of our voices.
If you’re not effectively selling and pitching yourself in and out of the workplace, you are doing yourself a big disservice. And I know this because I used to be this way – until I learned a few things that helped me feel confident about promoting myself, my message, and my work.
I’ve realized that we can’t stand back and doubt ourselves, watching the pitch go by. We can’t stand back in fear and half-ass our attempt to swing at the pitch either. We need to have faith in ourselves and take that swing, giving that pitch our best shot. Below are things you can do to prepare and perfect your pitch the next time the opportunity presents itself.
Know Your Audience
As you begin to prepare to pitch yourself, it’s important to craft it to who specifically you will be speaking with. Get aligned in who you will be pitching to, what they are looking for, and how you can help them. Prepare by writing this information down and ensuring you use language that you know will grab their attention. Your end goal is to keep them focused on you so they hear what you are saying and so they can be swayed in your favor.
Research & Prepare
Any time you find yourself getting into a pitching scenario, it’s good to prepare so you have confidence going in. Research not only your audience but your competition and your situation. Get clear in your elevator pitch. Practice your pitch in the mirror or to a loved one so they can provide you feedback and so you can get comfortable with what you will say.
Own Your Power
Once you have prepared, be confident in what you have to say and what you bring to the table. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities! If you need it, give yourself a pep talk. Use your support system to boost your confidence. You need to feel confident going into your conversation because it will come through when you are pitching. Remember this: if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
Sell Yourself & Your Value
Alright, this one can be challenging. It’s time to get over the ickiness factor of selling yourself or promoting yourself! Because you are going to have to do just that to make your case when you pitch yourself. Remember that you are not bragging. You need to convince your audience why you would be an asset to them. You can do this by highlighting and promoting your accomplishments and what you uniquely bring to the table. Facts and results are key here!
Don’t be afraid to stand out. Speak up and share your talents, skills, opinions, and ideas. Ask questions when appropriate to show you’ve done your research and that you are invested in the discussion. This can really be the make or break it in pitching yourself.
There’s no better way to go into and crush a pitch than simply being yourself. Be authentic. Insert your personality into your pitch. This will make you more personable but also memorable. Ultimately, it will also help you end your pitch on a high note.⠀
Now tell me – are you ready to pitch yourself?
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.