If there was a skill I admired watching, it was a colleague take a product idea and strip out the features, functions, etc. until they got down to what was most valuable to our customers. The items removed were good ideas; but they cluttered up a client’s path to what they really needed.
This is an example of the most used, though unrecognized, skill from your work: Understanding what’s relevant.
Think about it for a minute. How many times did you look at projects, new products, task lists, presentations, etc. and remove the items that got in the way of what needed to be done or were out of order? My guess is that it was a daily task and you were probably pretty good at it – because it’s the engine behind making things happen.
Now how can this skill help your pitch?
I’ve heard enough pitches (including my own); to know that they become muddled because we don’t want to leave anything out and then start to incorporate ideas from others. Each point is valid, but when all together, it’s less than a clear statement to the reader of what’s most important – no matter how many times we reorder, bold, change font or italicize. More data = Less information.
A good pitch is like your favorite website. It was easy to figure out what the site does, the features you want are logical to use, and it’s easy to navigate. Because the designers did not overwhelm you, you’re hooked. For your pitch: Provide the most relevant information in a simple form. Then you’ll hook them to want to learn more. Less data = More Enticing Information.
Okay, so how do get there?
To start, create four lists to summarize your last few roles. Just write down everything that comes to mind, don’t worry about editing it.
List One: Work situations you faced (big shifts in market, competitive change, new product launches, merger, international markets, etc.)
List Two: Outcomes achieved
List Three: Skills regularly used, new skills learned or improved
List Four: Lessons and Mistakes
Next, imagine you had to hire someone to replace you. Scan each list and then circle the three most important items from each one – what you would want to see on their resume. Just put your “what’s relevant” skill into action.
The end result is your pitch: What situations you can handle, the proof of your success, the best skills you bring and how you apply them.
One last thought, I like to start with the situations and accomplishments, because people don’t ask for “10 years of experience”, they ask for “Someone who can handle sales in 10 states”.
Good luck today.
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