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Rehearsal: Take it Again One More Time

Take your elevator speech to the top

➔ Most job-search gurus recommend developing your 30-second elevator speech. Or, your 30-second commercial. They want you to be able to describe yourself to a stranger during an elevator ride. Not that many people ever have occasion to do that, but you get the idea. How can you concisely make your pitch in as short a time as possible?

When your memory works against you

The simplest thing to do would be to write out your “pitch” and then memorize it. You could do that and no doubt you’ve heard people who have done that exact thing. And, be honest, do they sound convincing, or do they sound “rehearsed”?

It should come as no surprise that no one wants to sound rehearsed. And, certainly, no one wants to hear a pre-planned, memorized, “canned” speech. So, how do you prepare and rehearse – without sounding rehearsed?

As with many things in the job search world, there is no silver bullet. There is no one thing that you can do to overcome that stilted and boring recitation. But there is hope.

Start by knowing your key points. Everyone has some selling points that need to be made. Years of experience. Industry background. Stellar achievement(s). Everyone is different. And it’s OK to memorize those points as long as you don’t recite them as you’ve memorized them.

Which leads to another point, make your key points sound conversational. You will come across as more genuine if you avoid language that sounds too formal or is laden with jargon.

That leads to another one of those job search conundrums. In order to make your 30-second effective you will need to practice. Notice we said practice, not memorize. Try it out when you can – when you’re in the car, when you’re in the shower. Get comfortable with it and then try it out on others you respect who will give you honest feedback. Maybe it’s your spouse, a friend, or even a fellow job seeker.

Since it’s such an important element of your job search, it’s important to get it right. And getting it right means that it sounds like you – not the you memorized.


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