In a previous blog post, I discussed some steps to make networking easier. We all know that networking is not easy. But there are ways to break it down to make it easier. And one way to do this is to have that elevator speech ready when the opportunity arises to use it.
You may need to develop several different versions of your elevator speech, so let’s start with a brief definition. An elevator speech can be used anywhere and anytime, not just in elevators! However, it should be short, no longer than 30 seconds.
In your elevator speech, you are telling the listener what you want them to know about you. It may be targeted to a specific type of position or a specific company. Or your elevator speech might be broader in scope and cover several areas. Keep in mind that the speech will change depending on the listener, so be ready to tailor it to the situation.
Accentuate Your Value
- Be honest, but absolutely positive, about the value you will contribute to the position or company.
- Think back over your accomplishments or look over your performance reviews. What value have you provided in your previous and current positions that you can emphasize in 30 seconds?
Focus on Motivation
- What motivates you? What are the projects or the environment that make you really want to accomplish your goals?
- When are you at your best? What are the areas where you excel? What can you bring to the company or position that you can emphasize in 30 seconds?
Admittedly, 30 seconds is a really short amount of time. It will take time to develop a content-rich speech that shows you at your best in 30 seconds. You will need to edit and polish the speech.
Then, practice, practice, practice until you feel confident that you can take your basic speech and tailor it to the moment and the audience. This effort is part of networking and it isn’t easy! But you will achieve a measure of confidence that others who have not made this effort will not demonstrate.