Reflections from Soncia

Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Soncia Reagins-Lilly, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

In the Division of Student Affairs we are always up for a challenge. Take Mooov-In for example. Housing and Food Service could only utilize half of the parking lot for Mooov-In check in at UFCU Disch-Falk Field; the other half was being used for construction. And with the university welcoming its largest incoming class ever, there were even more people on campus during Mooov-In.

The team took the turned the challenge into an opportunity, tightening up check-in times which then helped free up parking. The process remained seamless even though the lack of space and construction posed challenges.

As we enter the fall semester, I have a challenge for each of you. Develop an “elevator pitch” that reflects your work in the Division.

What’s an elevator pitch? It’s a 30-second summary used to quickly and simply define a person or an organization. The idea is to deliver your words in the time it takes ride an elevator where you accidentally meet someone important. You should be able to reel off your elevator pitch at any time.

A good pitch should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? Why is it important? Squeezing years of your accomplishments into a compelling 30-second statement is a challenge. So here are a few tips:

Put it on paper

Write everything down about you and the work you do, then edit it down to a few key sentences. Your goal is to interest the listener in learning more, not tell your whole life story. Delete details that detract from your core message.

Tailor the pitch to your audience

People listening to your pitch will want to know what’s in it for them, so focus your message on their needs.

Avoid jargon

Make it easy for anyone to understand. Avoid using acronyms and words that the average person might not understand. You don’t want to make your listener feel uneducated.

Read and practice your pitch out loud

Get comfortable with what you’re saying and remember that you don’t speak the way you write, so tweak your pitch as needed.

Throughout the semester I will follow up on this challenge, possibly asking you to share your elevator pitch with me. I look forward to hearing your compelling, persuasive and clear stories about your work in the Division.

Hook ‘em,