The All-Important Elevator Speech
How many times has someone asked you to describe what you do, what you’re promoting, or what you believe in, and you fumble the opportunity? If you aren’t prepared to answer, it’s easy to fail. What people are often asking (without asking) is “What’s the IMPACT of what you do, what you’re promoting, or what you believe in?” They want to know why it matters, and how it affects them.
Let’s use my communications work as an example. What do I do? I do a lot of writing: columns/blogs, press releases, marketing plans, and website content. Are you bored yet? I am.
If I have the length of an elevator ride to share what I do, it’s gotta be interesting. I try to figure out what it is about my work that would be valuable to someone.
To the experienced CEO with too much on his or her plate, I could say something like, “By ghost-writing your blog, I help broaden your influence, establishing you as the expert and thought leader you are. I can take your ideas and use your voice to connect with your audience. That leaves time for you to do what you do best.”
I like the direct, concrete approach, but there are many great approaches. Using advice from one of my favorite marketing books, Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick, I recommend incorporating several of the following attributes into your elevator speech: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, an emotional appeal, and/or a great story.
If you’d like help developing your elevator speech, let me know.