By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach At Blossoming Brands

How many times have you been told that you need an elevator pitch? For those sleeping at the back, an elevator pitch is that killer sentence that summarises you what you do and who you do it for. Why do you need this? Well, so that you can deliver it in the short space you have while the elevator is whizzing up to the top floor when you happen to be caught in said lift with a Richard Branson-esque character who could land you the opportunity of your dreams.

The typical scenario where this actually may be used is more likely to be at networking events, especially those where you get 20 seconds to introduce yourself to the room. But, let’s face it, that’s not a situation that we will all be facing. What’s more likely is that you’ll want to have some way of answering the question “And, what do you do?”

This question may be fired at you in all sorts of scenarios; sure networking events being one, but maybe even at christenings and weddings. Having a neat way to respond to this question would be a hell of a lot more useful, don’t you think? And so my candid suggestion is to ditch you elevator pitch! Instead, I’d like you to think about what the opposite of a pitch would be.

So let’s think about what a pitch is… well for starters, it’s got a sticky whiff of sales about it. It can often be a well-rehearsed sentence that has been developed carefully over time and practised in front of the mirror. The result is that it can sometimes sound a bit wooden; it’s been delivered so many times, that the heart and soul has all but seeped out of it.

If we were to think about what the opposite of this would be, I’d start with something like this: A conversational response that is tailored to the person that you are speaking to. By making it conversational means that you don’t have to give everything away in the first sentence.

Instead, you reveal a bit of a teaser; something that may prompt the response “Oh that sounds interesting. What do you mean?” This then leaves the field wide open for you to share stories and examples of how you help people, just like them! Hopefully, you took an interest in them first and asked a load of questions to find this bit out. As the conversation evolves, you’re able to build a more meaningful connection with the person you’re speaking with, who in turn is more likely to remember what you’ve said, and hence, what you do.

Isn’t being memorable half the trick here? By using stories that illustrate your awesomeness in action, you will increase your chances of engaging on an emotional level. And it’s on an emotional level that people buy. So, if you get this bit right, then you’re winning.

So you see, by zigging, when the world is zagging, can help you to find more ways of being memorable and standing out.

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands