If you have ever been in sales, you have heard the term “elevator speech.” Some call it the elevator pitch. The idea is that you should have a speech ready at all times that you can use to introduce yourself to others. I was a member of a networking group that talked about this a lot. We didn’t just talk about it, though. We talked, we wrote, we critiqued, we role-played and we laughed at each other’s speeches. Some were great, while others…had opportunities for improvement.
I was reminded of this twice over the last week when I talked with new and prospective clients. I asked them about themselves, and it was obvious that one of them had never been coached on this concept. Here’s why it is important.
You never know when you are going to meet new people. You could be introduced by a colleague or friend. You could get stuck next to a Chatty Cathy on a plane. You never know when you will have to tell someone about yourself. Oddly, you’ll probably never do this on an elevator though, so I don’t really understand how it got called an elevator speech. Do you talk to strangers on the elevator? Don’t you just stand there and stare at the numbers? But I digress…
So, here is an idea. Take some time to write your speech. Now here’s the meaning of this post’s title: try writing it on a 3”x5” card, and be able to say it in less than 30 seconds. Make it concise, clear and interesting enough to get the listener to want to know more. Practice it on your cat. Bore your children. Do what you have to, but be able to tell someone about yourself well. If you can’t, who can?