7 Keys To A Powerful Elevator Speech

oKnow Its Purpose: An elevator speech is not a sales tool. Nor is it intended to give an overview of what you do. Rather, it is designed to pique the interest of the other person by concisely giving him/her a clear understanding of the type of people with whom you work and how you can help them.

oIt’s not all about you! When crafting your elevator speech, remember that people don’t really care about you, your job title or even your company name. And, they don’t want to hear a direct sales pitch (even if they make one themselves!).

oProblem-Solution. The first half of you elevator speech should identify a problem common to a unique group of people – your niche market. The second half of the speech positions you as a resource for solving that problem. And, remember: Stick to one problem and one solution. Saying too much causes your listener to “zone out” and not hear you.

oWrite it out, then file it! Until you become totally at ease with developing and using the elevator speech, write it out. However, don’t attempt to memorize it. Instead, memorize the formula and get comfortable with filling in the blanks. Put your written version in a file folder for later review and updating.

oPractice! Practice! Practice! The only way to become comfortable with this tool is to use it as often as possible. Before you use it at networking events, take some time to practice with your coach or with peers. However, don’t strive for perfection. Once you feel reasonably confident, take it out into the real world.

oBe Flexible. One elevator speech will not fit all situations. So, create a repertoire of them. Select the one that best matches the networking event in which you are participating. You may even want to create a new one for each event.

oBe yourself. Learn to develop impromptu elevator speeches (again, just plug in to the formula) in order to avoid sounding “canned”. It’s far better to bumble the speech a bit than it is to be too perfect. Others will empathize and listen.

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