By Sara Seng, Managing Editor
Over the course of my summer internship, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend several events in Boston with my intern supervisor, Amanda. Many of these events were wonderful opportunities to network and be familiar with individuals who worked in the field of my interest. It was very exciting and yet, very intimidating all at once. How was I supposed to awe these professionals into truly believing that I was so much more than just a college student who loves fashion in a matter of minutes? I felt as though I was Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada”: completely out of my comfort zone.
However, all was not lost. If you’ve ever taken any public relations classes, you’ll know how important it is to have developed your own elevator pitch. And that, my fellow communications peers, is what saved me this summer.
According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch, “is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition.”
Walking through the doors of those Boston events, I was determined to create a fabulous elevator pitch that will surely define who I am and the value of continuing a conversation with me. Now, how did I create such a pitch? I did so by following the three most important aspects of an elevator pitch.
1. What to say and how to say it
It’s important to list out of all the important details of yourself that you want your audience to know about. Start it off with your name, what it is exactly that you do, and what you want to do in your career. The fact that I work at CVS part-time is probably something they could really not care less about. However, the fact that I’m interning with a fashion tech company–now that’s a conversation starter!
2. Know your target audience
Luckily for me, Amanda would always let me know in advance who would be at these events and whom I should really be chatting with. The value of this inside information is definitely valuable. Think of it as going to an interview. Always do your research about the person and or company beforehand. By doing so, you can keep their attention better because you have your pitch circulated around them and their interest. And let’s be honest here–people with things in common become friends faster!
3. Be yourself
The one thing I cannot stress enough is the significance of just being yourself when creating and delivering your elevator pitch. The world of public relations, and in my case, the fashion industry, is filled with creative minds and creative people. No one wants to keep a conversation going with a robot who speaks nothing but industry jargon.
The whole idea of an elevator pitch is to let people have a snippet of the type of person you are in a matter of seconds of meeting. Don’t lose yourself in trying to impress a professional. Stay true to who you are and your audience will see and appreciate that.
By the end of all of this, I suppose you all are wondering what MY elevator pitch was during those events? Well, I tweaked it a few times depending on the person and the situation but overall, it went a little like this:
“Hi my name is Sara Seng and I am a PR and marketing intern for the Fashion Tech Company, 19th Amendment in Boston. I’m both in love and inspired by fashion, writing, and creativity. Once I graduate Salem State University this year as a PR student, I’m looking to continue in my belief that fashion is in everyone and in everything and that each version of it deserves its own spotlight.”
So the next time you find yourself in the same room with professionals who work in your dream career, what’s YOUR elevator pitch going to be?