Saturday, January 24, 2009

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH 15 SECONDS?: LAURA ALLEN CLUED US IN!

At the end of MLK Day, Mike and I went to In Good Company (a space for women entrepreneurs) for Laura Allen's 15 Second Pitch workshop. We both wanted to learn how to speak more effectively about the work we do. Evidently, so did the other folks who showed up. The motley crew included a magician, a jewelry-maker, a trademark lawyer, and a baker of organic marshmallows.

Laura, with loads of entertaining anecdotes from her 7 years of experience as Queen of the 15 Second Pitch, explained the need for developing a pitch that is easy to pass along. "Smart networking," she shared, "is about having a story that other people want to pass along. A pitch needs to be specific and compelling."

Laura had us get started on answering the four questions that build a good pitch. They are: (1) Who are you? (2) What do you do? (3) Why are you the best?/What makes you different or interesting? and (4) What is your call to action?

Laura also explained that while many of us might be good at doing many things, it's not so great to go into a networking event and say "Hi, my name is X and I am a dog-walker, graphic-designer, basket-weaver, and Reiki master."

Guess what's going to happen? The person you are talking to is going to slowly back away as their eyes glaze over. The alternative? Become known primarily for one thing. Also: it's great to have a separate pitch for each kind of work you do.
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