October 11, 2011
Do you have an elevator pitch?
As some of you reading LLB might know, a few weeks ago I moved from New York to Honolulu to take a new position on the faculty at the Richardson School of Law - where I am the Library Director (NB: A posting to the ALL SIS list serv indicating that I took a position on the faculty at Richardson provoked a lot of inqueries as to what I would be teaching. Apparently, there are those among us who forget that many - not enough though - Law Library Directors are faculty members. But that is another post.)
In any case, with new jobs come new responsibilities and opportunities - every directorship is unique. In my new position, I wear a much more public face than I wore at my last school. This will be my first full week at Richardson. I will be having lunch with three 9th circuit judges today and attending a "mahalo" reception for donors Friday night. Plenty of networking opportunities. I began thinking about what I can say to these people that will capture their imagination and remember the library at Richardson. And hopefully build an audience that will fund a new building!
Unless I sit next to someone chances are I will not have much time to make that positive impression and tell them about all the great things the Librarians are doing for the staff and local bar.
Enter the elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a collection of short phrases that lets the listener know who you are, what you can do, and, more importantly, what they can do for you and why! Just as I was pondering my approach to this situation, I saw this great post on iLibrarian about elevator pitches for librarians. The posting is really about personal marketing for librarians, but this particular entry in the series focuses on the elevator pitch. The iLibrarian gives some excellent links to tools and articles that will help you focus on creating that peppy, positive spin.
For example, both the Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch app and the 15-second Elevator Pitch Wizard provide an interactive system to sharpen your remarks and force you to focus on the important points you want to make. I will admit, at first I was unimpressed and thought it was corny, but when your results get spit back at you, you realize it is time to get busy. You could, of course, do this in a quiet room with a pen and pad of paper, but like most things, its more convenient to do it using interactive tools. Besides, who can read their own handwriting anymore? My fingers barely recall how to hold a pen!
Along with these interactive tools, iLibrarian links to a number of business articles that help the reader understand how to create the perfect elevator pitch, and a video on how to perfect your delivery.
So now you might be wondering about my own elevator pitch. Well, if you read some of the literature you will know that the pitch will change depending on your audience. I do not have just one! But, if you want to hear any of them, well, you will just need to catch me in the elevator! (VS)
I attended a leadership session with the past president of our university and this was his first assignment to me. I came up with these as part of my elevator pitch:
"Hi! I am Ulysses and I am in the information business. I am the Access Services Law Librarian at WVU and I make sure that you are able to use all of our resources the moment you need them."
"Our Law Library's main goal is to help everyone learn how to protect their legal rights and also to be aware of their obligations."
“Please remember that the law library is your partner and that you are welcome to come in, call or contact us with any questions and concerns. Here is my business card!”
Posted by: Ulysses Jaen | Oct 12, 2011 7:53:48 AM
Thanks much Victoria! And best of luck in your new position!!!
Posted by: Ellyssa Kroski | Oct 11, 2011 11:30:23 AM