Networking is one of the key tools that can make the difference between a good career and a great career. Many people shy away from networking or fumble around when meeting new people because they don’t know what to say about themselves. They’re missing an opportunity to connect with the very people who need them! The secret is in crafting a short and powerful elevator speech.
The most effective elevator speeches are succinct, carefully-crafted messages that immediately tell someone why he or she needs to hire you. An elevator speech should tell the listener:
- What you do
Don’t give a hum-drum answer for what you do. Think about how you distinguish yourself from the other people in your niche and what makes you unique and memorable.
- Who your target audience is
Visualize your ideal audience member. Think about what that person is lacking or what problems they have.
- What problems you solve
In this step, think about how you solve problems for that audience and what skills or talents you have that they need.
- What result you would like from this encounter
The last part of the elevator speech helps you to take this contact to the next level. What are you looking for? A meeting? A name of someone who can help you? A resource? Ask!
This type of elevator speech focuses on your target audience: what they lack, what they need and why you are the best person to solve their problems. This type of message is more likely to encourage your listener to talk to you, find out more about what you do, have another meeting and eventually hire you or refer you to someone who will hire you.
Put these elements together using the following template:
(Your target audience)
(Describe the need that you fill for your target audience)
so that they ________________________________________________
(The benefits that they gain)
Here’s what I would love for us to do: ______________________________
(Your goal from this encounter)
For example, an elevator speech I could use to market Public Speaking Super Powers might go like this:
As an award-winning speaker, International best-selling author, and speaker coach, I work with people just starting out on their Public Speaking Super Hero’s journey. I help them get comfortable speaking, hone their message and unleash their inner public speaking superhero so they can communicate their message with confidence. If you know anyone who could benefit from beginner speaking training, I would appreciate your referral.
You can refine your Elevator Speech in a few ways:
- Change any long words or jargon into everyday language
- Cut out unnecessary words
- Finalize your speech by making sure it is no more than 90 words long (excluding the last part where you state your goal).
You’ll see that I included simple words, while also using my branding language. And I communicated what I needed to in only 47 words before the goal statement.
Practice your speech so that you are comfortable with the message, and you feel authentic when saying it. Try it out in front of a mirror and then say it to your family and friends. Better yet, have a business and/or speech coach help you get it polished.