Some years ago, I watched CNN and saw a show hosted by Kyra Phillips called “the 30 Second Pitch”. Ms. Phillips would give ordinary people an opportunity to present their 30-second pitch for job opportunities on her show in the middle of the workday. I was amazed at how poorly some people presented themselves – especially with such an opportunity. Some folks stumbled over their words, left dead air, or tied their statements together with was a lot of “…um er uh…”. Some of the job seekers did better than others, but in my opinion, most of them missed a massive opportunity: making those 30 seconds pay off forever. I’ll explain.
For my self-promotion and personal branding, I’ve maintained a simple guiding policy since 1993 that remains effective. The policy has 3 parts:
- I accept that professionals generally prefer referrals from someone they trust.
- Even with referrals, professionals prefer not to engage directly until they’ve done their due diligence from a distance. They want proof from independent sources
- The most important piece of information I can share in a 30-second pitch situation is where they can easily find most of the information they need to make that decision.
So what did they all miss?
- If I were in their shoes with an opportunity to do the show, I would’ve recorded my pitch on video at home and asked them to show it.
- Like sales commercials, I would have used Powerpoint or a similar program to create a high-quality graphic to display a URL to my online presence for several seconds at the end of the video.
- If CNN refused, no problem! Recording my pitch in advance would have made me well-rehearsed. I would have posted my pitch online and most importantly I would’ve also used a few seconds to announce a link to my online presence at least twice. I would also maintain a presence at that URL in perpetuity.
- At this writing, it’s been 10 years and these clips are still available on Youtube, but I would have it on my own website as many businesses ban or prevent Youtube access from work.
- I’d also save the video on my Google drive and share it directly via text with everyone on my network. This would certainly inspire conversations and encourage my contacts to share the clip with their network. Even if the sharing was under the guise of “Check out what happened with my friend…” the content of the clip would still deliver the pitch to all viewers.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I’m definitely not saying they all failed. Over the years I’ve followed an outstanding gentleman named Eddie Turner who continues to extract benefits from his appearance, racking up 589k views on Youtube. Mr. Turner has launched a podcast and appears to be successful in his use of social media and video for self-promotion. Appearing on the show with Mr. Turner was Richard Pachovsky, who froze and had much difficulty delivering his message. Mr. Petrovsky has risen to the occasion of turning lemons into lemonade by speaking directly to the on-air gaffe on his Google sites page.
Back then, it was a cable news show, but these days screening interviews have a similar video component. Communicating your value on camera is now a core requirement in the interview process. One of the best things you can do to get ready for an interview is to get educated about presenting yourself on video. First, you’ll need to understand what’s involved to avoid over-preparing or under-preparing. Having the right tools and a great practice workflow in place is a huge advantage here. Next, knowing how you look and sound is crucial and only achieved through experience. (Translation: practice, practice, and more practice!) Finally, learning how to support your resume, networking, and job search with video content is critical for maximizing your reach and opportunities. 3 to Get Ready – The Definitive Guide to Standing Out in the Video Age is an online masterclass that can help you get ready fast! 3 to Get Ready puts it all together for you in a single, affordable, online resource that you’re sure to reference throughout your career!
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