The most difficult is more complicated than you may think. While the first point I am going to make is obvious but crucial, few people exercise the second.
First, grab a friend, family member, co-worker, or classmate and have them critique you. Let them know up-front that you’re going to want to practice at least 4 times in front of them. Tell them that you’re going to need honest feedback and if they don’t give it, it could result in you not getting the job or internship you’ve been dreaming of. Some of your friends may not be the most articulate and if they aren’t, here are something’s to have them look out for:
- Do I appear confident
- After listening, do you know what my goal is?
- After listening, do you know what I have done that is relevant to my goal?
- How did I appear physical to you?
- How was my posture?
- How did my arms make you feel during the pitch?
- What is one word you would use to describe my facial expressions?
Once you have gone through this process and received the necessary feedback, now you’re ready for part two of “Grab A Friend”. Ask them to give you their elevator pitch. This is important not because you want to help them, but because you want to learn yourself. It’s time for you to learn the importance of body language. You may not be able to understand the importance of this with your first friend, but once you have met with 3-4 people, you will remember which appeared confident, knowledgeable and genuine, and those, which appeared insecure, uncertain, and unprepared.
I cannot underestimate the power of this last point. In order to master your own body language (which they say is >98% of communication) you must understand what you feel when you watch others. The smallest twitches of the eye, curves of the mouth, and movement of the arms can make all the difference in how you feel when you watch that person. The same goes for the professional about to watch your pitch, and you better be ready.
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org!