Not too long ago I took a 2 day class on personal presence. It was an incredibly good use of time and I highly recommend it. It’s taught by actors – real ones – and they work with you to learn how to make an impact with your presence. It’s about knowing, when you get up to speak, what your passionate purpose is and “setting” the stage to maximize the efficacy of your message. However, the very best tool I took away from the two days was an understanding of my “personal elevator pitch”. In short, you had to create a summary about yourself that would convey to others, in plain non-corporate speak, what you’re about. I had a very difficult time with this particular exercise and was fortunate to have a co-worker help me work my way through it. Here’s the gist of the “elevator pitch”:
I’m a composer NOT a conductor. I can hear, in my head, how amazing a piece of music will sound. I understand how all the instruments work together. I work with each section of the orchestra to learn their part and help them understand how it fits into full piece of music. And, when the pieces come together to create something amazing, I’m in the very back row to appreciate the brilliance each musician, each instrument and the full orchestra brought to the performance and celebrate their achievement as a team. I take pride in seeing them work together and experience what I heard in my head. Once complete, I slip out the back and begin to think about the next piece of music.
I do what I do because I love it. I love the people I get to meet. I love the challenges I get to work through. I love the learning I experience every day. And, more than anything else, I love seeing the amazing things that happen when people begin working together well and finding ways to be even better. I also love that what I do isn’t immediately obvious to anyone. When awesome things happen – it’s not me that made them happen – it’s the team of people I was fortunate enough to work with. It’s THEIR accomplishment and that’s what I love the most.