Getting “Pitch Perfect” in Your Value Proposition

Posted September 19, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand

Jodi Glickman is the author of “Great on the Job: What to Say, How to Say It. The Secrets of Getting Ahead” and was also the September 2012 speaker at the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago luncheon. Her presentation at PWCC was called “Perfecting Your Personal Pitch,” and it was just that…perfect. Jodi’s ideas about not just what to say, but how to say it, are revolutionary ways to do what we’re all hoping to when we meet a new person or interview for a job. Jodi tells us we need to “Make them love you!”

What’s revolutionary in Jodi’s pitch-perfect practice, though, is the order in which she approaches it. To give you a taste of her exciting and incredibly in-depth ideas, I’ll take you through what Jodi calls the “perfect pitch” formula and share my own examples of how this kind of a pitch might apply to me as I’m introducing myself to someone as Career Girl’s Founder and CEO.

  1. Begin with the destination. This is incredible! When you introduce yourself to someone, don’t start with where you’re from or what you’ve done. Start the conversation with your destination — where are you going? What is your goal?

    Which of the following examples is most compelling?Example A: “I’m Marcy Twete and I’m the CEO and Founder of Career Girl Network”

    Example B: “I’m Marcy Twete and I’m working diligently to make my website, Career Girl Network, the online voice for women in business to empower women to achieve their best.”

    Obviously the second sentence is more compelling — because it contains my destination.

  2. Then share your backstory. Jodi emphasized here the word “story.” You don’t need the whole resume chronologically and in perfect sync with what’s written on your LinkedIn page. Tell them who you are and what led you to choosing your destination.Example A: “I moved to Chicago two years ago from Minneapolis, where I worked in numerous nonprofit organizations in fundraising, marketing, and public relations. After moving to Chicago, I worked in fundraising consulting before launching my business in February 2012.”

    Example B: “I’m a fundraiser at heart, and had the privilege of working for organizations that changed the world for women and girls throughout my career. In that work, I saw the gaps that needed to be filled to empower women in business and subsequently women everywhere. It was after I moved from Minneapolis to Chicago and spent time in corporate fundraising that I realized it was time to venture out on my own. I used the skills I developed in the nonprofit sector to make my own personal change and empower women in my daily life and business.”

    I sure hope that one was a no-brainer as well.

  3. Connect the Dots. The simplest way I see this is to tell your audience why you’re going to your destination (based on your backstory) and perhaps how you intend to get there.Example A:I’m starting a business that will help women to empower themselves in their career based on the skills I learned in the nonprofit sector.”

    Example B: “Working in nonprofit organizations, I saw firsthand that, from the highest level female CEOs to the women who were seeking services in financial literacy and crisis nurseries, the needs to excel in their lives were the same. They needed information, resources, and a network of powerful people (preferably women) invested in their success. I’m building a business to provide those kinds of resources and build a network that will empower individual women and, in time, empower our gender to make positive change.”

I know Jodi won’t mind that I’m paraphrasing what was an incredible hour-long discussion and what is an even more incredible book. I do so in the hopes that it will spark for our Career Girl readers the drive to perfect your own pitch. Buy Jodi’s book, visit her website, and start asking yourself these questions today. It will make your next networking interaction or job interview 100% better!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."