When people ask you what you do and you tell them you’re a project manager, do you ever get that blank look or get asked “what is that?” The job description seems pretty clear but all of us have ended up explaining ourselves at some time or another.
But when you do have to talk about your work, do you fumble or struggle to find the right words? Do people’s eyes glaze over when you start talking about tasks and due dates and risks? If you have one of those elevator speeches that makes someone want to get off before they reach their floor, then you need to work on your pitch. Project Management as a topic of conversation can go from dry and ho-hum to ‘how can I get a project manager to save my business?’ in zero to 2 minutes if you have a killer elevator pitch.
Everyone knows an elevator speech needs to be brief, compelling, explain what you or your business does and be memorable enough that your listener will ask for your card or remember you the next time a potential project management opportunity comes up.
Here’s the secret sauce.
Pull out your best marketing material:
- your unique selling proposition – why you’re the best PM on the planet
- how you create value with your innovative or ultra efficient and effective approach (insert your own cool value prop that will create excitement and interest about what you do)
- Feel their pain – call out the problems you solve for businesses … then ask how they or their company handles projects
- Be enthusiastic … if your eyes light up when you talk about what you do, people will remember that passion and hope they still have your card when talk of projects comes up
And don’t keep your pitch confined to the elevator or ‘salesy’, networking events. Your elevator talk is a crisp, concise communication tool that can be adapted for talking about a project you’re leading, a new idea or product you’re launching and yes … even for telling people what you do for a living.