Advertising
Advertising

One Super Valuable Skill that Nobody Shows You in Your 20s

One Super Valuable Skill that Nobody Shows You in Your 20s

How I wish I knew about this amazing skill back when I was 20. It would have spared me lots of time, money, and head-and-heart pains. More importantly, it would have launched me earlier to the realm of great fortunes and authority.

That’s right, nobody showed me this super unique skill, ever. My parents didn’t, nor did a mentor, a companion, a teacher, a lover, a professor, and certainly not a friend.

I had to endure countless rejections, failures, and head-and-heart pains to learn. It took a lot of experiences, direct and indirect. The learning happened while I was looking for a job, submitting my work, making calls, teasing friends, and giving presentations of my ideas.

If I had any knowledge of this super valuable skill whatsoever, I could have earned a scholarship, kept a few large clients, landed an impressive and premium-paying job, made a fortune in no time, and –who knows? — married my better half. On the contrary, I had to wait for 10 years to get these things, excluding the last one, for many reasons.

For most people, ‘ten years’ is a really long time. So, if you have the chance to learn it now, why not make the best of it?

Advertising

That one super unique and valuable skill has a name, and it’s called Pitching. Capital P, that’s right.

Pitching is an art that would be extremely handy in almost every situation; a career, business, and life in general. Even in politics, if you decide to run for president one day.

A pitch isn’t called one until it’s truly amazing in a way that makes you stand above everyone else. A good pitch is one that gives results. Sometimes, you only have as little as a few minutes, seconds even, to make a fantastic impression that leads to your selection.

But it has to be truly fantastic, because people are too full of themselves to notice the difference between you and the rest of the crowd. And because you are the only one with the knowledge of how you differ from others and why you deserve to be selected, it falls to you alone to prove why choosing you is the best option.

Here are 3 pieces of advice on the art of pitching.

Advertising

First, regard yourself as a “business.”

When I say “you”, I mean the entire package that includes your talents, skills, physical appearance, and other unique characteristics and attributes.

Don’t forget this basic rule: businesses should sell their images to the public, before being able to sell their products. An “image” refers to the important positive characteristics that can be related to the business. It is essential that the public (or the person that is targeted by your pitch) care for that positive image.

When promoting a positive image, bear in mind that it requires more than showcasing a winning smile. Your “image” consists of anything that represents you — from personal interactions, to whatever you post on social media. Before you can effectively pitch yourself to others, be their potential partners, clients, or employers, your online image needs to be consistent with what you’re selling upfront. According to one report, even your credit history can play a major role in how others perceive you, and can sometimes make the difference when trying to land the job of your dreams.

The point is, by knowing that nobody is perfect, you are free to have higher expectations from and delve deeper into yourself. You’d do whatever it takes to bring yourself in line with the demonstrated positive image whether that means getting your credit checked regularly or being up front about past mistakes.

Second, a successful pitch is based on a certain mold.

Although every pitch is essentially the same, you shouldn’t repeat it word for word countless times. It’s like baking a cake; you use the same ingredients and pan, but no cake is exactly the same, as each occasion calls for different presentations and decorations.

Advertising

Basically, the pitch is the connecting ring that bonds the pitcher and his target person with a defined goal. If the “bond” resonates strongly with your target person, then you have made a successful pitch. For example, if your target is looking for a job, the pitch should create a bond with the employer. If it’s a scholarship application, the pitch should create a bond to the university and the program’s mission and vision.

Purpose. Know your destination and the way it would benefit your target (person or public). Answer “why” you are the best person for it by including a clear purpose in your pitch. That may be an answer or response to a specific problem.

You can also explain why you think you are the only suitable person among the endless line of candidates. Show enough courage to admit your distinction and uniqueness.

Authentic. Be as authentic as possible. The pitch should be leading, not following. To be genuine, you can opt to use a unique and memorable acronym, a contrarian perspective, or even make a joke.

Simple. Be as simple as possible. This means that one should be able to understand it without wrinkling his forehead, reaching for the dictionary, or having a Ph.D. in decryption. It should be written in simple terms, avoiding complex sentences, easy enough to memorize.

Advertising

Short. Besides simple, make it short. Sweet. Generate a smart and catchy name of the proposal or project, where it applies, one that can be memorized easily. Examples: VoluntEARS for Disney’s volunteering program, or PetTel for Pet Hotel.

Third, no pitch is the same as the next.

The secret of success is to tailor the “mold” to the current objectives’ requirements. Customize the P-O-S-S template to your individual needs. Almost all situations need pitching, so you would benefit from remembering to use this method.

The perfect pitch is a fact-filled art with a pseudo-scientific foundation. After mastering the art of pitching, you are in for a life filled with meaning and rewards. Learn it now, without wasting any more time. Good pitches create many opportunities for a great life.

Featured photo credit: Robert Bejil Photography via imcreator.com

More by this author

Who’s at the Wheel? Technology Causing Distracted Driving and Other Stories of Multi-Tasking Is Your Website Costing You Sales? Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim If You’re a Burned Out Entrepreneur There’s a Solution Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

Trending in 20-Something

1 One Solid Practice for Tackling Low Self-Esteem 2 If You Want To Get Help From Others Easily, Remember To Avoid This Mistake 3 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 4 What GoT Would Be Like if the Characters Used Social Media 5 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next