The Elevator Pitch – A Networking Tool

The so-called “elevator speech” is a very short 15 to 30 second introductory sound bite that introduces who you are and what you do in a memorable way. The elevator speech or elevator pitch as it’s sometimes called is designed to prepare you for any brief or chance encounter you may have where you get an opportunity to talk about you.

How many times have you felt unprepared when confronted spontaneously and asked about what you do? If you talk in terms of your art, your listener’s eyes glaze over. If you discuss too much YOU, you never get a chance to talk about your art, and indeed there may not even be any interest once they hear you’re an artist. But…

It may be the only opportunity you get to both introduce yourself, say what you do and create interest on the part of a listener who may be your next customer; if they could only hear your message. And incidentally, you needn’t wait for an elevator moment. Key moments often come unannounced such as waiting in line at the grocery store or bank, meeting someone at a party. You just never know. But if you’re prepared, you will know and very quickly if contacts are worth pursuing or not.

Here is an example:

For an Artist

“Hi, I’m Greg Peters and I’m a visual artist. I produce artwork that begs to be touched. Here’s my business card which will take you straight to my web site where you can see what I do. I could talk for hours about my art, but seeing it is better than thousands of words. Take a look for yourself when you have a minute and drop me a line if something catches your eye. I can always be reached by phone or email. “

See what I mean? I’ve introduced myself, given them a business card with my web site URL on it, and told them what I do. Some may never go there, but so what? They won’t forget the encounter, and they may tell a friend. Business cards are cheap. Spread them around like confetti.

You’re now a professional artist, you’ve positioned yourself to take on questions and give answers, and you’ve forged one more link in your networking chain. You need a good elevator speech. Now go write one and memorize it. You’ll never be at a loss for words with this great icebreaker.

Gregory Peters