Business and Conference Confidence: The ‘Elevator Speech’
In today’s climate it’s wise to consider yourself and your skills as a marketable product to be advertised.
You’re at a conference, business breakfast networking event, a trade show – or in any other situation where someone has asked you “So – what do you do?” “ Tell me about yourself” or “ What are you going to be speaking about today?”
Can you instantly give a graceful and fluent answer that shows you and your work to best advantage? Can you make it interesting and concise enough so the interested stay interested, the not so interested get interested and the really not interested are not bored and annoyed?
Stumbling over your answer won’t leave a good impression on them – or yourself. If you feel shy, embarrassed or uncertain about what you’re going to say, it will show in your voice and body language, and it certainly won;t inspire their confidence in you, your project or your business.
You need an Elevator Speech, prepared, polished, and ready to use whenever you have thirty seconds or so of their undivided attention – say the time it takes for the lift to go up to the twelfth floor.
You can quickly learn how to craft and use an effective elevator speech, and a good one can capture interest, spark conversation and create networking opportunities.
Anyone can have an elevator speech – one delegate who was a little reticent about going back to work after a career break developed a speech beginning “I’m in domestic engineering!” which immediately triggered interest and conversation.
It should be focussed, upbeat – and short.
Speak less, say more – it’s not a challenge to get out as many words as possible in thirty seconds.
It’s about you, what you do and what you can do for them – and that’s not just a job title, which may mean nothing to your listener.
It should be delivered with a smile, confident body language and an enthusiastic, engaging tone of voice – these are as memorable as your words.
Have different versions for different aspects of what you do, and make sure it’s always up to date.
The secret is to create it, use it and believe it yourself. The more you hear yourelf saying it, the more confident you’ll be in your message and in yourself, which goes a long way towards inspiring confidence in others.
And always have your business card ready to hand. PH
Article originally appeared at Speaking Well in Public.