Networking will present you with opportunities to talk about your skills and accomplishments once you get a person's attention. But what should you say when you have a captive audience? How do you talk about yourself without going on an ego trip? How do you make the conversation (and you!) memorable?
The elevator pitch is a great tool to help you get the conversation started. It can help you introduce yourself in a concise and direct manner while catching the attention of our audience.
To help you during the conversation, prepare some material that will promote your skills without sounding arrogant or conceited. The SOAR exercise helps you frame stories that demonstrate a specific skill, personal strength, or achievement in an effective way. Each letter stands for one part of the story - Situation, Obstacle, Action and Result.
Briefly set the context – the issue that you helped address.
Describe what made the situation difficult or an opportunity you were going to capitalize on.
How did you contribute to a successful outcome? Be specific – include numbers if possible.
Highlight skills and competencies that are likely to be most attractive to an employer.
What were the results for the organization? How did you contribute to achieving them?
Sample SOAR Story:
My football team had not made the playoffs in years.
The new coach brought in a new system and new personnel. To make a contribution to the team, I had to go above and beyond to earn playing time.
I demonstrated professionalism, teamwork and persistence by showing up to practice early, staying late to run drills and putting extra hours in to learn the new system.
I helped our team make it to the second round of the playoffs.
Some things to remember when creating a SOAR story:
– Aim to educate others on your skills and interests. Create different stories that highlight different skills.
– Give enough detail in the “Situation” so your audience can fully understand the context of your story.
– Focus on the facts of your accomplishments and demonstrate your expertise with actions, not words.
– Acknowledge the team and your boss to show you are a team player.
When delivering a SOAR story, it is important to keep it relevant and not to force a topic that will come off as rehearsed and unnatural. The best way to perfect the art of self-promotion is to practice with friends and family and your AthLife Advisor.