India soccer picPrepping for the Pitch

After yesterday’s historic ticker-tape parade held in NYC to recognize the accomplishments of the US Women’s Soccer Team, our office was electric with excitement from last week’s win. Those of you who have worked with me long enough, know I’m always comparing soccer to business because of my daughter’s love/hate relationship with the game.

During the job search process, just like soccer, so many things have to go right to score a job offer. These days, it seems everyone wants candidates to present a “pitch” during an interview and you can feel the same thrill of success as the US Women’s team!

Here’s how we recommend getting as many things going right for you as possible:

  1. Actually Prepare!

Don’t finish your presentation while you’re sitting in your office “working” at your current job. Do your research and actually prepare a presentation using professional presentation tools such as prezi, canva, or powerpoint.  Practice saying your pitch out loud in front of the mirror, or in front of friends and family.

  1. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

You normally don’t have enough information to make it perfect. Just like in elementary school cover your 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why….OK and How too. Get those basics covered. Most of the time, it’s not about the idea you’re presenting, but how you arrived there and what’s your basis for selecting that idea. Employers want to see if you’re a strategic thinker, resourceful, and understand their business goals.

  1. Use their own stats against them.

There’s a ton of information available on most companies; pull some compelling details from websites, blogs, customer testimonials, and white papers and use them as a bench mark. For example, if the company’s software increases sales by 20%, show how your recommendation gets that number to 25%.

  1. You probably won’t actually perform the work described in your pitch.

Don’t worry about over-promising and under-delivering. Again, you don’t have all the information available, so it’s completely unreasonable for you to actually execute every detail in your pitch. Be realistic, but think big.

  1. Show up.

Believe it or not, many people actually lose their nerve and never actually make it the big day. Yes, it’s stressful and you’re nervous, but everyone is. So, be the one to show up and there’s a huge potential return. Trust me, if you just show up you’ve already got half the competition beat.

Now, go out there and don’t be afraid to score!