Instead, remember what the purpose of an elevator speech is, which is to
provide someone with your name, your company and a nugget or two of
information that will both pique interest and strike enough of a chord
that they will remember you later when you follow up with them.
Also remember what an elevator speech is not: It is not a full-on
product sales pitch. It is an introduction to your company; an
opportunity to share how what you do would be a good fit or asset to the
person with whom you’re speaking.
So, how do you make sure you only push the right button? You have to
Plan; Use control; Slow down; and, Have a single close to make sure your
message is delivered as intended.
PUSH your elevator speech
Plan. The fatal mistake that many business people make
is to believe that because an elevator speech is quick and seemingly
under impromptu pretenses, it doesn’t need to be thought out or planned.
That’s dead wrong.
Even if the presentation is only 30 seconds or a minute, it is still a
presentation. It needs a solid message throughout – something that can’t
happen if you haven’t thought things through or practiced.
Use control. What you’ll realize as we go along here is
that discipline is a central theme. You have to use control over your
natural instinct to vomit as much information as possible because of
that clock burning time in your head. You also need to use control over
your hand movements, voice level, and making sure you are engaged in the
conversation effectively through eye contact and body direction (turned
toward the person, standing confidently, etc.).
Remember, the sole purpose of your elevator speech is to make a
connection and sell the person on believing you’re someone they should
know. Present yourself as such.
Slow down. Again, it’s a control thing, but this is
specifically about your speech. When we feel rushed, we talk faster
(which would seem okay for an auction professional in most cases!).
Here, however, words jumble and messages crumble.
The easiest cure for slowing down, other than focusing on control? Focus
on that planned piece of information you have. Concentrate on speaking
about that one point. Knowing you don’t have 10 other things to talk
about will help you relax and easily deliver your core message. Once
that point is made in a matter of a few moments, then it’s time to hit
Have a single close. Okay, so you’ve planned and
perfected your quick introduction, and you’ve mastered your main point
so that you deliver it clearly. Now, it’s time to put a big bow on
things. Deliver a super action step for a close.
There are appropriate actions depending on your goal. Would you like to
give the person a call for an appointment? Perhaps, you like to send
them some information about something specific you discussed or simply
get them on your general mailing list? It might just be leaving them a
card with instructions on how to reach you.
The important factor here is to pick a single action. It’s neat and
clean, and doesn’t leave the conversation hanging open awkwardly. Both
parties know where things stand and what the expectation is moving
Don’t go at it alone
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “never memorize what you can look
up.” When it comes to an elevator speech, you want to have your own
thoughts and words in order, but it also doesn’t hurt to have a little
help in PUSHing your message.
Carrying a small card (like the one shown at the top of this page) that
contains a couple of major points with you isn’t bad at all – in fact,
it may actually illustrate how organized you are if you’re able to
provide someone with information instead of only talking.
However, you won’t want to stare at the card and read it word for word,
just as you won’t want the card to do all the talking for you. You’re
still selling you and your company, not just the card’s information.
Work that information into your speech, delivery it effectively, and
you’ll be headed in the right direction.