Practice Makes Perfect: The Elevator Speech

“Tell me about yourself.”

“So, what do you do?”

“What is your company about?”Elevator speech

I used to dread these questions coming from a well-meaning networker or potential employer.  However, once I developed my elevator speech, I became more confident when answering these questions.

Developing an elevator speech or pitch is important whether you are looking for a job or selling your services or branding yourself or recruiting members. A solid elevator pitch is an essential tool for achieving your goals.  If you do not have an elevator speech, I encourage you to work on one.

Below are some practical steps to working on your pitch:

  • Know What Differentiates You. What makes you, your company, your ministry or your product different or special?  If you don’t know… its time for you to go back to your mission, vision or purpose statements and find out.  Some industries call this USP – Unique Selling Proposition. There is something unique about what you do and HOW ou do it.  Make sure that is communicated in your speech.
  • Create Curiosity: Your elevator pitch should make others want to ask you questions.  Not because your response was so vague, but because you have said something that makes them want to know more or know how. I start my new elevator speech off with “I’m a Dot Connector.”  Inevitably I will get a giggle or a weird blank stare; but they always want to know more. Also, remember that people always want to know WIFM (What’s in it for me).  Which leads me to my next point…
  • Focus on Solving a Problem: Your company, product or organization should be solving a problem. If it is not or you have not identified what problem you are solving, its time to go back to the drawing board. Your elevator speech should include how you solve a problem.  It is perfectly okay to start off your speech with a question, such as:  “You know how people often get stuck when they start a small business?”  or “You know how people forget to pay their bills.”  Help the listener see or recall the problem, and then you come in and show you can solve it.
  • Be Concise: Enough said. I cannot stress this enough. You don’t want to bore people or drag on too long about your business. Give people just enough to want more. Practice your speech and get down to 20-30 seconds.  Trust me. They will ask more questions that will allow full disclosure of your organization.
  • Be Natural: Be careful not to use too many industry-specific words or phrases that only people in your company or line of work will know.  Be as simple, yet profound as you can be.

If you need assistance with branding or developing an elevator pitch, please contact me.  I would love to help.

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