All posts by Ivana Bostrom

Elevator Pitch – What is it? And How to Master it

Every business professional should master their own “elevator pitch” or “elevator speech”.

What is an elevator pitch? elevator

An elevator pitch is a 30 second commercial about you; Who you are, What you specialize in, Name of your company and Value proposition.

Who you are: First impressions are by far the most important, therefore you don’t want to lose your audience right at the beginning of your elevator pitch. Your introduction has to be “light”, almost as if you’re introducing yourself to the next-door neighbor. First name is enough.  If they’re interested, most likely at the end of your pitch they’ll ask for your last name.

What you specialize in: Briefly explain what you specialize in, and/or the niche you’re in. Leave your title outside the elevator doors!  No one likes a bragger.  Besides, lets’ be real… titles don’t mean a thing.  Your audience only cares about how they can benefit from you, and the possibility of you benefiting from them. By the time they get off the elevator, they will forget your title but they won’t forget you, that is, if you delivered a successful elevator pitch!

Name of your company: This is where you can briefly share who you work for and how long you have been there.  Letting your audience know the tenure you hold within your organization adds credibility and a sense of comfort to your audience.

Value Proposition:  Your conviction and passion for what you do needs to be conveyed. How do you add value to the consumer?  Your value proposition is crucial!

Once you have concluded your elevator speech, ask your audience a question. “So tell me about you and what you do”?  Remember, you don’t want to make it  ‘All about you’, therefore asking your listeners about them shows professional interest and it showcases your interpersonal communication skills.

PRACTICE…PRACTICE…PRACTICE!                                                elevator-buttons

If you want to master your elevator pitch you must practice!  That means, get in front of a mirror and pitch away!  Pitch to a co-worker, friend or family member and be open to receive constructive criticism.  Like they say, practice makes perfect.

Remember, only you can master your elevator pitch.

Turn Your Dreams Into a Vision and You will Make it Happen

There is nothing better than hearing one’s success story.  In order to succeed and achieve your dreams you have to fall a few times, but it’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you pick yourself back-up and keep going.

I wanted to share a dear friend of mine testimonial.  A true inspiration about sacrifice and how important it is to not give up, no matter what obstacles you face.

A positive and motivating video to end your work week…:)  Happy Friday, Everyone!


Trigger Words Can Make You or Break You

“Trigger words” will either make you or break you during an interview.  What I mean by this, it can either cost you the job or keep you in the running.

As a career coach, I have carefully coached my candidates on carefully choosing  adjectives, action verbs and adverbs that best describe them. During an interview, the interviewer will commonly ask you, “Tell me about yourself”?, “What are 3 strengths you feel that you possess and/or 3 areas of improvement”?; etc.

“Trigger words” will trigger either a positive or negative emotion.  That is why you have to be wise when it comes to articulating and conveying your abilities, accomplishments and even challenges you have faced as a professional to the interviewer.

Here are a list of “positive trigger words” to use during an interview:

  • Action Verbs: achieved, adapted, accelerated, accommodated, led, collaborated, completed, initiated, fostered, facilitated, motivated, produced, performed, served, recommended, solved, discovered, assisted, verified, tested, simplified, succeeded
  • Adjectives: honest, independent, optimistic, realistic, intelligent, pro-active, self-disciplined, reliable, dependable, versatile, hard-working, loyal, tenacious
  • Adverbs: eagerly, actively, certainly, eagerly, efficiently, measurably, openly,patiently,respectfully, systematically, significantly,  thoroughly, voluntarily

Here are a list of “trigger words” to avoid:

  • Action Verbs: annoyed, aggravated, disturbed, deferred, depleted, issues, mistreat, worry, confused, denied, impatient, unsatisfactory, unpleasant, authoritatively, demanded
  • Adjectives: anxious, abrasive, aloof, awkward, bored, burned-out, clueless, co-dependent, compulsive, destroyed, disappointed, dishonest, excessive, frantic, freaked out, hostile, hung up, incapable, inefficient, ineffective, lacking, misunderstood, overwhelmed, pressure
  • Adverbs: blatantly, aggressively, deceitfully, deceptively, evasively, unethically, scandalously, selfishly, rarely, relentlessly, egotistically, deliberately

When it comes to “trigger words” always remember, it’s all about what the interviewer hears.  The words you speak will have a lasting impact, so be very conscientious in choosing the right words.

How to Separate Yourself from the Competition

We all know that in today’s job market the competition is fierce, so you need to ask yourself, how can I separate myself from the competition?

Knowledge is Power!

The more you research your industry, understand the trends in the market, you’ll have the leverage you need to stand out from other candidates, and be the “expert” in your field.

Arrogance or Confidence?

No one likes to hear how wonderful you are or how much money you deserve to make. “The what’s in it for me” attitude will crush you during an interview. Talk about your accomplishments, when asked. Hiring Managers like to hear about how you collaborated with others in order to save a company money or complete a project successfully. They want to know that you’re a team player but at the same time have the ability to work independently. Always demonstrate confidence not arrogance.

Have a Personality!

Don’t be a stiff! Seriously! Find something in common with the interviewer that you can make small talk about. Also, you don’t want to be over the top, either.

Hope these few tips will help you beat your competition!