By Phil Stella
Elevator speeches … 30-second commercials … shameless self-promotions — they’re our typical responses to the often-asked, “What do you do?”
We all do them. But most of us don’t do them with enough focus and finesse, so here are some simple and easy strategies to elevate your elevator speech (ES).
Less is definitely more
Elevator speeches are supposed to begin a dialogue – not be a monologue. They should provide enough focused information to engage your listeners in conversation. Think billboard, not full-page ad. With every word or fact you might mention, ask yourself, “Who cares — really?”
It’s not about you!
It’s about the people listening to it. It’s about why they should want to ask you more questions to get to know you better. A good ES should generate four or five more specific questions if people are interested in you. If not, you’ve just saved them and yourself some valuable networking time.
Let go the ego
Who really cares about your title? It’s probably on your business card anyway. Write out your typical ES and count the “I statements.” The more you have, the more ego you can let go.
Typical ES content includes a “seller-driven” menu of our products, services or features. Stand out in a crowd by becoming more buyer-driven. Focus on what THEY want or get when they work with you … the benefits and value.
Everyone is listening to the same virtual radio station all the time – “What’s In It — For Me?” If you focus on a buyer-driven ES, they will clearly hear what could be in it for them. And they might also see something in it for someone they know — the mission-critical referral.
Practice doesn’t make perfect!
No, practice only makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect. So, practice your succinct, buyer-driven ES so it’s articulate and enthusiastic. Prepare similarly focused responses to the obvious follow-up questions that interested people might ask.
So, if you want to easily elevate your elevator speech, edit what you typically say in the context of these comments and practice it until it flows smoothly and sounds just like you. Then… enjoy the ride up to the top floor.
Phil Stella runs Effective Training and Communication Inc. and helps people take the pain out of workplace communication, sales presentations, and networking. He is the COSE MindSpring networking expert and a popular speaker on the topic. He can be reached at email@example.com or (440) 449-0356.