Regardless of what you call your introduction – the elevator pitch, the 30-second commercial, or the personal commercial, you need to be able to describe (quickly!) who you are, what you do, and the elements of your personal brand.
At its best, your personal commercial sparks the interest of the listener. You say something interesting to get that person’s attention and ask for more information. The personal commercial is one of the most critical pieces of your communication toolbox because you use it to develop other tools.
The personal commercial is one of the hardest pieces of the branding process for people to feel comfortable with. It seems to contradict all the messages you hear about not bragging or tooting your own horn. Discovering how to introduce yourself the right way, though, can boost your self-esteem.
Here are some tips on how to introduce yourself effectively. Paula Asinof and Mina Brown wrote a book called Be Sharp (BookSurge Publishing) that brilliantly laid out a personal commercial in three key steps:
1. Make your first impression. What is your essence factor, the core of who you are? “I know I am in my element when __________.”
Your essence factor describes the essential qualities you exhibit as a professional. Write three or four words that describe your essential qualities as a professional. Add an adjective that describes a dynamic quality about you. Describing your professional self this way sets the stage for a great first impression.
2. Be in the know. What is your guru factor, the knowledge that you hold and skills that you possess? “People recognize my expertise in _________.”
Your guru factor identifies your knowledge and expertise. To find your guru factor, list your special areas of knowledge. Choose one or two areas of expertise that are relevant to your goals. If you struggle with this step, try finishing the statement “People recognize my expertise in . . . .” The guru factor is about what you know, not just what you do.
3. Identify your best stuff. What is your superstar factor, the qualities that set you apart? “People comment on my ability to ___________.”
Your superstar factor is what makes you special in how you get things done. It can describe your personal qualities, professional characteristics, or your style in how you apply those qualities to your work life. To find your star factor, list the qualities and attributes that set you apart from your peers. The star factor includes words that describe you, such as “I’m known for . . . ,” “I’m recognized for . . ., or “Others describe me as . . . .”
When you’ve taken all three steps, put them together to create your personal commercial.