Your Introduction:

Make it SHORT
Make it INTERESTING
Make it YOUR OWN

I am an introvert who spends a good amount of time pretending to be an extrovert.

Networking events used to fill me with dread – Seriously, I’d experience a sinking feeling in my gut and no feeling at all in my feet.

One of the (many) tools that has helped me to manage this feeling of doubt and anxiety is to have developed my ‘elevator speech’ introduction.

First impressions still mean so much. Introducing yourself with a polished message gives the impression that you are confident and professional (even if you are quaking inside).

To be honest with you, if we are at a networking event and someone goes over 30 seconds to answer “so – what do you do?”, my mind is very likely to wander.

Please, boil down your message to an interesting soundbite.

Don’t rush the process. It can take some time to get your pitch right. You’ll probably end up creating several versions before finding one that is succinct, compelling, and that sounds natural in conversation.

How to construct your elevator speech:

What’s Your Goal?

Start by thinking about the one message you want to get across to the people in front of you.

Is it that you want to tell potential clients about your organization? Or do you want a simple and engaging speech to explain what you do for a living?

Your Elevator Speech should Include:

1: Who Do You Work With?

This may change depending on the group you are addressing. But narrow it down enough that people recognize themselves in your targeting.

2: What Problem Do You Solve?

Focus on the problems that you solve and how you help people. If you can, add information or a statistic that shows the value in what you do. Remember to use the WIIFM concept here. What’s In It For Me? Your audience will be listening to see if what you offer has anything to do with solving challenges they are facing.

3: What is Your Unique YOU factor

What sets you apart from all the others in the field?

4: Ask a Leading Question (if appropriate)

If the person you are talking to looks engaged, ask a question “Want to know how I do that?”, “Would you like to know more?” or “Can I give you an example?” “How does your organization (family) handle this situation?”

Now, try to cut out anything doesn’t absolutely need to be there. Remember, your pitch needs to be snappy and compelling. The shorter, the better!

Then, read your introduction/elevator speech aloud using a stopwatch to time how long it takes. It should be no longer than 20-30 seconds. Otherwise, you risk losing the person’s interest or monopolizing the conversation.

PRACTICE!

No lie, practice does make perfect. Remember, HOW you say it is just as important as WHAT you say. If you don’t practice, it’s likely that you’ll talk too fast, sound unnatural, or forget important elements of your pitch. You will find that practicing your introduction helps you to avoid rambling.

As you get used to delivering your pitch, it’s fine to vary it a little – the idea is that it doesn’t sound too formulaic or like it’s pre-prepared, even though it is!

Don’t speak too fast. Yes, you only have a short time to convey a lot of information. But don’t try to fix this dilemma by speaking quickly. This will just make it hard for listeners to absorb your message.

Keep your energy high, positive, and enthusiastic while delivering your piece. Don’t frown, or speak in a monotone. Modulate your voice to keep listeners interested. Keep your facial expression friendly.

How BOLD can you go?

I enjoyed this challenge from Fabienne Frederickson of Boldheart

Come up with a claim for what you do that is the BOLDEST thing you can think of (while still being legal, of course).

Your claim should be so bold that the person listening to you will say “Wow, really? How do you do that??”

Give that a try – see what you come up with.

Here’s what I’ve been using lately:

(My 30-second elevator speech version for roundtable intros)

Hello. My name is Susan Finn. I am the Chief Connector at Susan Finn Online.

I work with small business owners who need clarity on how to squeeze the most juice out of their digital platforms without wasting their time. My team and I provide Personal, Authentic, and PATIENT digital marketing coaching and services. My clients report that they feel a sense of control and calm about their marketing. Would you like to know why?

(My 10-second version for speedy intros and handshakes)

My name is Susan Finn. I am the Chief Connector at Susan Finn Online, providing Personal, Authentic, and PATIENT digital marketing coaching and services.