So I've been reading Danielle LaPorte's, The Fire Starter Sessions and she had some interesting things to say about the importance of the "elevator pitch". As in, when you're at a cocktail party or a dinner and inevitably the question arises, "So, what do you do?" what do you say?
Some of you might ask, well why does it matter? As Danielle explains, how you define yourself has the power to immediately distill who you are, what you're about and what you're here to do in the world. Simply put, how you define yourself matters. And because you never know who might be doing the asking.
Whether it's your next lover, best friend, dream employer or a tv producer when your date with destiny finally shows up, don't you want to be ready? Hells yeah. Right on. Sold. Love it....Wait. Not so much? Feeling a bit faint? If so, you're not alone. Just the thought of this question can make some of us want to run for the hills.
Like a cosmic lie detector, the "What do you do?" question immediately lays bare where we are at that moment. Happy in our jobs? Wishing we were doing something else? Unsure of what the future holds? Whether you're a recent grad or well into your career...all it takes is that one question and suddenly you are face to face with all of your "stuff". However from another perspective, within this cold sweat inducing inquiry also exists tremendous possibility. How we describe ourselves when given the chance can just as easily be a soul affirming moment of presence, if properly taken advantage of.
So, want to avoid sweating through your shirt and instead turn cocktail party inquisitions into moments of triumph? Well Danielle LaPorte, offers sage advice on how to do just that:
1. Be honest - It's better for your nervous system if your description of your current career or life status feels honest to you when you deliver it. Honesty = freedom to be genuine. And as Danielle notes, this doesn't mean that everything has to be all unicorns and moonbeams, either.
2. Accentuate your interests - Your interests are your true strengths. Your interests or so-called hobbies are just as relevant as your income-earning status and how many stamps your passport has. People who are interested in life are the most interesting people. Interest and presence tops worldly any day.
3. Give yourself credit - Let people see the full scope of what you're doing. You can be modest and powerful. Factual and engaging. Facts + feelings = genuinely compelling.
4. Notice when and where appreciation comes from in your life & work - What people thank you for most often is a feedback loop that shows you where you are thriving. The gratitude you receive from others is a reflection of your genius. Take notes....
............So, what's your elevator pitch?