I’m sure you’ve heard of the Elevator Speech.  It can seem intimidating to people at first especially if you are not sure what it is.

I found a great explanation in Wikipedia that I would like to share with you.  “An elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service or organization and its value proposition.  The name elevator pitch reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span on an elevator ride, or approximately 30 seconds to 2 minutes.”

Your elevator speech needs to sum up the unique aspects of what you bring to the table as an current or future employee or, your service or product in a way that excites others.  And no, this doesn’t mean you only give it in an elevator!  This is for any time you have a quick introduction time with someone to give them the best way to get to know what you do and how you can possibly help them.

Most people start to answer the question “what do you do” with the response, I’m a coach, accountant, whatever. Or, they start sharing their personal life, I’m married, I’ve got 3 kids, I went to ABC high school, etc. This doesn’t tell people what is unique about you.

Your elevator speech would tell them something intriguing so they want to know more.  For example “I work with small businesses to grow their marketing efforts to double or triple their income in ways they haven’t thought of before.”

That makes the person you are talking to wonder what it is that you do to double or triple their income through their marketing efforts.  They want to know more and that is your opportunity to set up an appointment or tailor your description to their business.

You want to make sure that you are tailoring your speech to the person you are talking to.  You don’t want a generic speech that no one is interested in hearing about because they don’t know how it relates to them.

Make sure you are clear and concise when you give your speech.  This is your opportunity to shine and possibly stay in the spotlight for a little longer with the prospect.  If you are not clear you may not get another chance with that person or it may be a long time before the opportunity arises.

I shared this in a workshop about a year ago and a young man who was working at a local hospital as a nursing assistant was intrigued about the concept and worked on his speech.  Eight weeks later, he’s walking across the hospital complex and bumps into one of the hospital VP’s.  He has his speech prepared and they chatted for 20 minutes.  The VP followed up with him a couple of weeks and invited him to a “breakfast with the VP event”.  He later served on an inter-departmental team that is worked on employee satisfaction.  Talk about networking and building relationships for the future!

Next time we will go into more detail on how to prepare your elevator speech!