30 Second Elevator Speech Made Easy

I presented a seminar on Elevator Speeches to a State of Maryland POAC event in Laurel, MD yesterday. There were about 15 attendees. These are my notes

ELEVATOR SPEECH GOAL
The sole purpose of giving your spiel is to get networking names that will get you closer to someone who will eventually lead you to getting a job. It is extremely unlikely the person you are going to speak with is hiring, BUT it is a certainty that someone within his/her network is hiring – though it might be at 2 or 3 degrees of separation.

With this in mind:
#1: Have a business/networking card with you at all times
The person you are speaking with is not going to remember your name, let alone how to contact you, after you say good bye. Many people will only give out contact names after they look you up on LinkedIn. They do not want to embarrass themselves by sending a “mis-match” or  “loser” to a close friend. I personally screen people before I recommend them to people in my network. I also expect the same from my own contacts.

#2: Ask for networking names in the easiest way possible to get an answer
I believe people are naturally good. They do not know how to help because the help request is complicated, vague or unclear. Close your spiel with a direct request for names at two or three SPECIFIC companies or organizations. “Healthcare”, “Non-Profit” and “Finance sector” are too vague and also imply you may not be too sure yourself what you are looking for.

ELEVATOR SPEECH WORKSHEET
Use the attached worksheet to build your speech. The first page helps you prepare four pieces of content to insert into your speech.

ELEVATOR SPEECH FORMAT
I believe the current belief in a single 30 to 120 second speech is ill advised. The second page of the worksheet recommends a two part speech. The first is a very quick introduction of yourself, after which you engage the listener with a question. Get a conversation going. This will give you direction with what industries and companies the listeners might be connected with.

The second part of the speech asks the listener for names. The listener at this point will be more receptive to give you contacts having had a dialogue with you rather than your own monologue. In addition, asking for names is a social signal the conversation is coming to an end.

Click here to down load a MS Word 2010 File of the  Elevator Speech Workshet

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