How to Construct an Elevator Speech

How to Construct an Elevator Speech

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No matter where you are you can often get asked what you do for a living. This can happen at a networking event or just on a social night out. Unless you have a well-defined or obvious career like a lawyer or nurse, most people stumble and stutter when they are asked (unexpectedly) about what they do for work.

This can often make the person asking lack confidence in your ability as a professional.

An elevator speech (so called named because you can say it by the time an elevator goes from floor 1 to floor 2) is designed to clearly state what you do and can be given as a reflex answer to the unexpected question about what you do for a living. This will solve both the issue of being clear about what you do as well as giving you time to compose an answer relevant to the person you are speaking to.

  1. What is the main thing that people you would like to work with find challenging? Give them an example of this so that they can associate with it straight away

Start your elevator speech with “You know how …………………………”

  1. Tell them how you solve it

Then add a short sentence beginning “Well what I do is …………………………………”

  1. Evoke a response by asking an OPEN* questions (an open question is one where you cannot get an answer of yes or no …. see example below)

End your elevator speech with “When is the last time you …………… or What areas of your life would you like to …………………”

The end question gives you time to listen and gather your thoughts so as to make the discussion very relevant to that individual person.

Examples

You know how you can feel that there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be and you never seem to get round to sorting it? Well what I do is, support people as they focus on closing that gap and help them organise their business and personal life so you get there. Which areas of your life need to be changes so that you have a perfect life?

Or

You know how you can feel that there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be and you never seem to get round to sorting it? Well what I do is, work with people including CEOs, Entrepreneurs and senior managers who have a gap between where they are and where they want to be in either their business life or Personal life or both. Which areas of your business would you like to improve?

*An open question is one where you cannot get the answer of yes or no which can end the conversation abruptly. For example “Do you like chocolate” is a closed question because the person you are asking can simply say yes or no and that ends that! An open question which evokes further conversation would be “What type of chocolate do you like?”