Don’t you just love giving elevator speeches? I am not certain if you could sense the sarcasm through the screen, but most people I talk with dread that part of a networking event when they have to get up and share their elevator speech. For the most part elevator speeches (mine formerly included) fall into two categories:
- So well-polished and smooth that you assume the narrator has spent countless hours in front of the mirror practicing the delivery of this smooth prose. I know that sometimes when I hear a speech like that I feel a little queasy — it’s just too smooth.
- Those halting deliveries punctuated with “ums” and “ahs” and “you knows.”
You might relate more to the second narrator, but you also wonder, “she (or he) doesn’t know what she does for a living?” Chances are either, or both, of these entrepreneurs know exactly what they do and whom they serve, they just don’t go about the delivery of that speech in the best way.
If you think of your elevator speech as telling your business story, you will be better able to share your company’s message. But, let’s take a step back. Your elevator speech is about what you do for your client. What problem you solve. Why they should work with you instead of the person down the street.
How can you formulate your business story? Here are a few of my favorite tips:
- Remember why, and how, you got into your line of work. For instance, I started out as a journalist at a local daily paper and worked there for 15 years. I turned that love of words and writing into the copy writing business I have today. That’s my story. That tells you why you should trust me to handle your writing tasks. Think back to what inciting incident got you into entrepreneurship, write that down and use it in your business story.
- Share your history, if it’s relevant. As a writer, any of my writing history is relevant. My history in learning to crochet or grow herbs — perhaps interesting to some — is not relevant to my business story. Stay on topic.
- Consider your current clients and weave them into your business story. Write down what service you provide to your clients. Yes, I am a writer and I write for them, but that isn’t the service I provide. The “service” is that I take their words and their message and share it (on their behalf) on their blogs, in their newsletters and on their social media platforms. Yes, you might sell widgets to your clients, but what do those widgets do for your client? That is the part of the business story you want to tell.
Before you attend your next networking event take some time and think about your business story and weave that into your elevator speech. Share what makes you unique. Let me know, in the comments, how it goes!
(Photo: Shutterstock man at elevator)