How many times have you bumped into your CEO at a corporate event or in the elevator? Or perhaps realized you’re standing face to face with your dream client? These situations are no doubt intimidating at times and often arise when we least expect them.
Even when the traditional questions come up: what you’re working on and how you contribute in your current role, do you find yourself stumbling over words? Replaying the conversation over in your head wishing for a “do-over”? Or do you back off altogether and kick yourself later for missing a key opportunity?
How we show up can be the difference between a meaningful engagement and a full stop. Having a short planned message can open the door to a dream client or pave the way to a stronger corporate career network for you and your HR team.
Crafting Your Pitch
Your goal should be to convey the value of your work in less than two minutes – what you do and what you bring to the table that sets you apart. As you prepare, consider carefully what you want people to know as well as what they don’t need to know. Be selective – time is short.
Why You’re a Key Influencer:
This is your opportunity to show how human resources drives business results at the executive level. Don’t jump right to tasks – instead focus on strategy. How does your work leverage top level priorities? What problem are you or your team solving for the organization?
Your HR Value Proposition:
This is where you clearly and concisely state what you do that sets you apart. What is your unique value proposition? Don’t assume that your title automatically implies what you do. Be specific – are you solving talent issues? Mitigating corporate risk? Developing leadership capability? What problem are you solving for the organization?
Reciprocate with a Question
Asking a question will engage your client/CEO/audience into the conversation. Asking a good question will shows your curiosity and concern for their interests. It might be asking what is keeping him or her up at night. If you want an authentic and meaningful conversation, leave the generic questions at home.
Wrapping up – be Future Focused
End with a statement about how your work and focus addresses their objectives or concerns and explicitly open the door for future conversation.
When the time is appropriate, be sure to follow up and “land” that key client or provide an update to your CEO that highlights the value you are creating.