You don’t have to be a candidate for President to know that putting your best foot forward is key to success in the current marketplace. Whether you’re a business owner, an employee, or in the midst of a job search, you need to take advantage of any opportunity to promote your service, your product or yourself!
While it may be easy for you to imagine plugging the next best idea or snazzy gizmo, it could make you break into a cold sweat to override humility with tooting your own horn. Keep in mind that confident communication, supported by concise examples of success is different from boasting or being arrogant.
In the end, it will be your ability to recognize and communicate all of the ways you, your product, or your service add value to the marketplace that will justify a raise or promotion or land your next client or customer.
So, in preparation for the inevitable challenge of your next performance appraisal, job interview or client pitch, consider the following five tips so you can be ready to enthusiastically portray yourself or your business:
Know the value that you uniquely bring to the marketplace, or to your company or organization. Think in terms of outcomes and results you’ve realized and be prepared with concise examples. These are your “deliverables” and you should write them down since they’ll become the foundation of presenting yourself
Create and practice your “elevator speech”. While this may not be a comfortable exercise, it is essential to effective self-promotion. Keep in mind that people first want to know what you can do for them, not how well qualified you are or the name of your business. Be aware of key opportunities to share this information and do it.
Begin your “speech” with a line that will get someone’s attention. It should be short, action-oriented and indicate a result.
Practice makes perfect. Your elevator speech should roll off your tongue and seem like you really believe it, even if you are nervous in the beginning. Repeat it in front of a mirror, to friends and finally…
Look for places and opportunities to share your self-introduction with strangers. Recognize that this process will become easier over time as you engage people in conversation about you and your work and how it might relate to them.