Pitch per­fect in the el­e­va­tor

Stuck in the el­e­va­tor with the top man­age­ment? Awk­ward mo­ments call for clever mea­sures! Our ex­pert, Shi­tal Kakkar Mehra, shares tips to help you out of the sit­u­a­tion

Micetalk - - Expert Speak -

Have you ever bumped into your com­pany's CEO in an el­e­va­tor ride and re­alised that you had noth­ing smart to say? Or, when he tried ini­ti­at­ing a con­ver­sa­tion, you were tongue-tied? Leg­end says that Steve Jobs' favourite ques­tion to Ap­ple em­ploy­ees in the of­fice el­e­va­tor was, “So, what are you work­ing on?” leav­ing them pet­ri­fied for days after the ride! While en­trepreneur­s and sales­per­sons are fa­mil­iar with the ‘el­e­va­tor pitch', oth­ers need it when meet­ing with the big boss at in­ter­nal net­work­ing events or in the el­e­va­tor.


Al­though ex­tro­verts dis­play the abil­ity to ef­fort­lessly ‘wing it', maybe with stand-up com­edy, an el­e­va­tor pitch is not im­promptu

– you have to pre­pare for an hour to cre­ate an im­pact in a minute. To pre­vent be­ing caught off-guard, pre­pare a crisp re­sponse to ‘what sets you apart from oth­ers in the com­pany'. Us­ing these time-tested top­ics, add a com­pelling nugget that makes you mem­o­rable:

Your work: Men­tion your name, de­part­ment, and a re­cent ac­com­plish­ment that high­lights your abil­i­ties. For in­stance, you could say, “Hello! I'm Arati Gupta from the mar­ket­ing team. I am cur­rently work­ing on the lat­est ad­ver­tise­ment cam­paign for our suc­cess­ful xyz.” The boss will re­mem­ber you, as in his mind you get linked to a profit-mak­ing prod­uct.

Your CEO’s achieve­ments: This al­ways works! High­light­ing your CEO's achieve­ments can help you make an in­stant con­nect with him. This also piques his in­ter­est in know­ing you bet­ter, pro­vid­ing you an op­por­tu­nity to con­verse with him and make a mark.

For in­stance, you could start by say­ing, “Yes­ter­day, your speech at our lead­er­ship academy was very in­for­ma­tive and thought-pro­vok­ing.”

Make a so­cial con­nect: Con­duct small talk to cre­ate a so­cial re­la­tion­ship that stretches be­yond your work. Some sub­jects that you could talk about could be your boss's hob­bies, a com­mon in­ter­est, or your sim­i­lar back­ground that may in­clude the same school, col­lege, or home­town.

This is an easy con­ver­sa­tion to make and there is a lot that can be shared when you have a com­mon back­ground. It also helps leave a pos­i­tive im­pact.

Re­hearse: Visu­alise this meet­ing, fo­cus on your per­for­mance and re­work, if needed. Keep it con­ver­sa­tional-style and con­cise (CEOs meet sev­eral new peo­ple in their work day). Lastly, speak with en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm, dis­play­ing your love for your job.

Small talk can help cre­ate a so­cial re­la­tion­ship that stretches be­yond your work

Shi­tal Kakkar Mehra Prac­ti­tioner of Cor­po­rate Eti­quette and In­ter­na­tional Protocol in India

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