Keep Elevating Your Elevator Speech

A business blogger recently asked for my input on Elevator Speech (ES) Best Practices. A few of my thoughts …

  • An effective ES is interesting, clever without being cute or confusing, benefit-related, not a long list of features – what the person does or sells, free from jargon or buzz terms so your 12-year- old neighbor’s daughter would understand everything you say and easy to repeat.
  • Modify it to increase interest of the person listening, so try to initiate the conversation. Then, you can adapt yours as needed.
  • Don’t mix selling with networking – very different processes. So, don’t end with ‘Is that something you might need?’ or ‘Can you refer me to someone who might be interested?’ Lame and not likely to produce results except turning the person off.
  • Also create similarly focused answers to the typical follow up questions other people may ask, like ‘How do you do that?’, ‘Who is your target market?’, ‘Where are you located?’, ‘How long have you done that?’, etc.
  • If you finish your ES and the other people don’t immediately ask you some questions, don’t automatically assume lack of interest. They might be analyzing what you said, taking a long time to think of something else to say or having way too much fun talking about their favorite subject – them. They didn’t realize it was your turn.
  • Be spontaneous, but focused. Make every word count without sounding like you memorized it. Write it for the ‘ear’ not the ‘eye’ as people are only going to hear it.

Keep working on Elevating Your Elevator Speech and finding ways to make it and the whole process more effective, efficient and engaging. You’ll really stand out in the crowd of amateur networkers when you do.