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Your Elevator Speech is a Mini-Presentation

Here’s mine.  What’s yours?  Your Elevator Speech is a Mini-Presentation

No Sweat Public Speaking! - Elevator Speech

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If you attend Networking Events, you’ve been asked to deliver an Elevator SpeechCorrect?

You should also have one in your hip pocket for those times when people ask, “What do you do?”

Elevator Speeches are Mini-Presentations. They are also, like many Speaking Opportunities: Business and Career Opportunities. They are meant to: (1) Give a very quick overview of what      you do. (2) Provoke curiosity so someone will followup and ask you to tell them more.

That Elevator Speech should be built from the ground up, by “floors”, because every opportunity to present it is not the same.  I’ll use the one I’ve developed as an example.  Put each “floor” into your world and see how it works.  CLICK the image on this Post to enlarge it to get a visual of the process.

Sometimes, it needs to be short, sweet, and immediately to the point. “I’m Fred Miller.  I’m a speaker, an author, and a coach.”

If it’s an individual or group that warrants giving more information to, and time permits, I continue by saying, “I wrote a book.  The title is, ‘No Sweat Public Speaking!'”

In many situations, that’s all time permits and all the information people really want.  This is especially true if it’s a social situation where the question is often asked out of curiosity and politeness.  And certainly, all people who ask are not prospects for what you do, could care less, and would be aggravated if answering their inquiry turned into you giving a commercial about yourself.  This is true for you on the receiving end of asking, also, isn’t it?

Often in business network events, more information is sought by attendees.  They are seeking specifics about what you do and how you do it.  They want to know if they could use your products and/or services and if you are a prospect for their offerings.

Oftentimes people start the next “floor” of the Elevator Speech with, “I help businesses (or people or both). . .”  Some use a similar phrase like, “I work with businesses (or people or both). . . ”

Since it’s usually with other business people, I prefer to be more forthright and say, “Businesses and individuals hire me because. . . ”  The word –  hirehits the nail on the head.  It tells others that money is exchanged for the product or service I provide.  The word – because – is an important word from the psychology of persuasion because it provides a reason for behavior.  In this case, the reason they hire me.  The entire “floor” response is: “Businesses and individuals hire me because they want to improve their public speaking and presentation skills.”

I take it to the next “level” and use –  because – to mention the reason they hire me.  It goes as follows: “They do this because we perceive really good speakers as Experts.  Perception is reality, and people like to work with Experts.”

While on this “floor”, and time permitting, I like to add: “They know that Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities.  Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities.

When I finish that sentence, I’ve arrived at the top floor.  This is where I tell specially what I do to complete the – because.

“So, I show them how to develop, practice and deliver a Knock Your Socks Off! Presentation with – No Sweat!”

Now we’ve completed the Content of the Elevator Speech.  It still must be Delivered!

When it comes to Content vs. Delivery, Delivery is far more important.  You may have just developed the your best Elevator Speech ever, but if you can’t Deliver it as the Mini-Presentation it is, most your efforts will have been largely wasted.  Your Goal is for the recipients to GET IT!; i.e. understand what you do, and hopefully want to know more. (Think about how many times you’ve heard someone give their Elevator Speech and you just say to yourself, “HUH?”)

Delivery, in your Elevator Speech and Presentations, has two parts, Verbal and NonVerbal.  It’s important to remember that NonVerbal Communication trumps Verbal. If you Verbally do a great job of Delivering your Elevator Speech, but your body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal elements say, “I could really care less about this talk,” that’s the message that will be taken away by recipients.

The Verbal Elements are:

  1. Pronunciation and Enunciation

  2. If they can’t understand your words it’s all over, isn’t it!

  3. Projection

  4. Everyone must hear you.

  5. Inflection

  6. By emphasizing specific words you put the attention of the audience where you want it.

  7. Example: “We perceive really good speakers to be EXPERTS!”

  8. Cadence

  9. Too quick or too slow a pace will lose people.  Vary the speed of delivery.

  10. Pause

  11. Pausing, at the right moment, gives them a chance to absorb what you just said.

  12. Example: “They hire me because (PA– — USE) they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.”

  13. Example: PA– — USE before starting your Elevator Speech.  That PA– — USE will better capture the attention of the audience from the get-go.

The NonVebal Elements are:

  1. Eye Contact

  2. Looking someone in the eyes is perceived as honesty and sincerity.  Not doing so has the opposite effect.

  3. Facial Expressions

  4. A Smile is the first one to deliver.

  5. It is universal.  I call it a non-physical hug; when you give one, you get one right back!

  6. Gestures

  7. They should be natural and in sync with your message.

  8. Posture

  9. Good posture, standing tall with shoulders back, shows confidence and authority, two qualities you want others to perceive in you.

  10. Body Movement

  11. If any for an Elevator Speech they is very short, they should be deliberate and slow.

Bottom line: Take care that all components, parts and elements of your talk are in sync. And like all presentations you are “scheduled” to deliver: Practice – Practice – Practice!

If you’ve presented you Elevator Speech correctly, you’ve increased the odds people know what you do and how you do it.  They may want to probe further.  Good!  They may be prospects, or may know someone who can use your products/service.

That’s my Elevator Speech / Mini-Presentation.  What’s yours?

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an author and a coach. Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts. They also know: Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities.Opportunities are Career Opportunities. He shows them how to Develop, Practice and Deliver Knock Your Socks Off Presentations! with – No Sweat!

Fred E. Miller

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