By Helena Kaufman:
How did you manage your personal message in the last few weeks when someone offered you the opportunity to answer their question, “Tell me about yourself?”
While it’s often used to open both your leisure and business networking interactions, most people are not ready to respond with the one positive piece that can instantly move any conversation closer to a new friendship or solid business connection.
Try on a customized elevator speech, the compressed ‘pitch’ describing you or your work. This energetic little tool that comes in sizes of 60, 30 or 15 seconds is an excellent way to connect you, quickly and memorably to other people. You’ll soon see that the best websites and the most carefully chosen clothes do not take the place of a personally delivered and well crafted message. Remember to bring along your confidence, self esteem and belief in yourself – and you’ll be packing some great accessories to enhance your memorable message.
Brevity is best
To get it to achieve its first critical goals-it must capture a person’s attention and then keep it. Your message, while unique, is competing with noise, distractions, overwhelm, tight schedules and the energy of your prospective conversation partners in a short attention span world.
Make it clear, concise and have it stir curiosity. After that, take a breath. It will help you find the best balance in your elevator speech for others’ reactions, comments or questions. It is called a ‘speech’ or ‘pitch’ precisely because it is adjustable and is designed to both introduce you and to lead somewhere.
Can you do it in 20 words of less?
Your steps to a successful message are:
Trim your great big biography into an interesting, memorable statement
Make it the starting point to describe yourself and to connect with another person
Answer these questions:
1. What do you do?
2. What is different about how you do it?
3. Who do you help?
4. What is the problem you solve or solution you provide?
Weave your answers together, take the best bits, and then write one punchy, cohesive pitch. Stuck? ASK fans, customers or colleagues for input. Be creative.
Can you guess what these elevator operators do?
“I help men and women look and feel fantastic.” – “I help reduce stress and soothe aching muscles.”
“I help people save thousands of dollars annually on their taxes.” – “I help people take the vacation of their dreams.”
VIP: Very important to practice…for spontaneity. Get over your fears and be so familiar with your message that you can HEAR others and adjust it instantly. Your easy and natural expression leads to authentic connection. Oh, the elevator just arrived. Going up?
Super Short Speech Tips from Helena
Write a 20 word elevator speech, cut it down to 10 words when you can
Practice it 20 times (or more) each working day this week
Create curiosity, think provocative and attention grabbing description
Say what you can do for others, see your customer’s perspective
Record it – hear how it sounds – delivered out loud, not just written
Edit what needs changing or cutting
Do it again and again till it is natural and TAKE it out ON THE ROAD to test it.