Think of it this way: when you are pitching yourself, you are pitching your own reality show, with you as the central character!
You have to tell your story: the one that shows you are one-of-a-kind. You have to help your potential employer understand how your chapter one will be and how your chapter six will be. You have to show appropriate heart and emotion. You have to show how you can hit the ground running and how you can sustain. Just as you would if you were pitching a reality tv show.
But somehow we see pitching ourselves as different from the work we do every day. We know how to pitch a show or a product. We know we have to pitch it to someone who we believe should be receptive, and that if we have misjudged it they may never take another call from us. So we do our homework and we find out what they like and we go in with a quick clear presentation – led by a sizzle reel that knocks them off their feet – of why this is the idea they should buy and why we are the person to make it happen for them.
All this makes sense to us – whether we are a production company pitching an idea to a network, a film-maker to a financier, or an executive pitching a marketing plan or program schedule to the boss.
But for some reason, all too often, when it comes to trying to get a job we check all this smart behavior and insight at the door. We don’t like to talk about ourselves. We don’t understand what they want or why they called us in. We don’t know how to describe our value to them and we don’t …we don’t sizzle. (Ask a recruiter if I’m right or wrong!)
So to prep for your own pitch, be clear as to who you are and why anyone should care. Be clear as to what they are looking for so that you can fit the bill. If you realize you don’t fit the bill, don’t force it, move on – leaving them with respect for your ability to think on your feet, saying: you know maybe this won’t be right for us at this moment. So they will remember you positively when their need, their mandate, changes and you are just what they need.
So think of yourself as a show. If you are a creative with work to present – start with a sizzle reel that gets them excited and begging to see more. Don’t make them sweat through everything you’ve ever done – present them with the highlights that hit the main points of your pitch. Really – it is all show business and anyhow attention spans are tiny. Quickly tell them the highlights of your successes – and the great shows and brands that have been entrusted to you. And talk with excitement about how your time with them will unfold. Sizzle for them. How could they resist?