Can you introduce yourself to a stranger in the time it takes to ride an elevator? Are you looking for a job, a promotion or more business for your company? If your first answer is “no” and your second answer is “yes”, then you need a memorable opening line. The “elevator speech” is a 30-second-to-two-minute conversation starter that introduces you to a new person.
Do you really need one?
Everyone wants to be memorable and impressive, so everyone needs an elevator speech. It’s just a short description that makes people want to know more about you or your business. Take a few minutes and be ready the next time someone says, “Tell me about yourself” or “What do you do”. These four easy steps can make you a winner at your next networking event, job interview or professional meeting.
Four easy steps
What do you need to say in your elevator speech? Keep it short. Describe yourself as a problem solver. Connect with the other person. Leave them wanting to know more about you.
1. Short and sweet – Quickly answer the question, “Why should I be interested in you?” Your opening line should be more interesting than your job title. Instead of saying, “I teach adult social media classes at Winter Park Technical School.” You can say, “I take the mystery out of using social media”.
2. Make a connection – Describe yourself as a problem solver and make a connection between what you have to offer and the other person’s needs. Use action or feeling words (dream, excite, love, drive, stress, etc.) to make an emotional connection. For example, “I take the mystery out of using social media and teach adults how to get comfortable with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest”.
3. Start a dialogue – You want the person to ask you how you can help them. An elevator speech should be the foundation for a deeper conversation and eventually a relationship.
4. Close with a question – Close with an open-ended question (that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”) that shows you’re interested in learning more about the other person. For example, “I take the mystery out of using social media and teach adults how to get comfortable with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. What do you do?”
Remember to tailor your elevator speech to your audience. Practice it, revise it and make it sound natural, not like you are making a memorized sales pitch. A good elevator speech can introduce you to a stranger and make you sound like someone they want to know more about. You can turn an elevator ride into a business opportunity or a valuable friendship.