Archive for February, 2014

Elevator Speech: What happens next?

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Today, I’m going to share strategies to help you enhance your credibility and engage your listeners during the conversation that happens after you have delivered your elevator speech.

When you craft and deliver your elevator speech effectively, it should elicit questions and comments from your listeners about what you do.  This will reveal what interests them, and that is valuable information for YOU. 

As the conversation unfolds, you should dribble information about your products and services.  I use the word “dribble” because you should maintain an element of suspense as long as possible during the conversation.  The reason for this is simple:  each time you express an idea, you should try to create within your listener a need for additional information.

Use the following three strategies:

1.  At the beginning of the conversation, after you have spoken your elevator speech, include a sound-bite:  a few concise sentences that described what you do, with a bit more detail than your elevator speech did.

 2.  Position yourself and your company as experts who stand out from the crowd of people who do something similar to what you do.  Use phrases like

  • We specialize in
  • Our reputation is
  • We’re known for

3.  Mention your experience in industries that are the same as (or similar to) those of your conversation partners.  And namedrop!  Mention your clients who have the most impressive name recognition.  And, of course, name only the ones who have not asked you to protect their anonymity. 

As you namedrop, be sure to sound as casual as possible.  When you appear to be unimpressed by your own experience and track record, you enhance your image as an expert.

Follow these steps, and you will be on your way to conversations that enhance your credibility, engage your listeners, and help generate the next conversation!


Rehearse Your Elevator Speech, Part 2; Additional Guidelines for the “Endowment” Technique

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Today, I’ll share more about how you can project spontaneity and authenticity in your elevator speech by rehearsing with the actor’s technique called “Endowment”.  Here is a summary of the steps:

Step 1:  Choose a person from your real life in who has qualities that help you feel liked, trusted, and respected when you speak with him or her.  Step 2:  Choose a spot to place your focus, and imagine your business listener, right there in front of you.   Step 3:  Endow your imaginary listener with these same qualities that help you feel liked, trusted, and respected.  As you say your elevator speech aloud, speak AS IF you were in conversation with the person from your life. 

Here are some additional guidelines for the Endowment process.

1.  It’s very important to be flooded with positive feelings as you rehearse this, so choosing the “right” person to feed your imagination is key.  Experiment with the technique of Endowment by imagining various people from your life, in order to discover which one person most effectively triggers your expression of warmth and relaxation when you are speaking.

2.  Never tell anyone the identity of the person you have chosen to “use” for this process.  Keeping it a secret will increase the power that the Endowment technique will have on your demeanor and delivery.  

3.  The technique of endowment may be challenging at first, so rehearse aloud as often as possible.  Over time, rehearsal of the endowment process will help you focus your mind in a very useful way.  It will help you create an emotional environment for yourself:   to project authenticity and spontaneity when you’re networking and meeting with prospects and clients.

Using the Endowment technique has a secondary benefitit will keep your mind so focused on the task at hand, that you’ll have very little emotional availability to be nervous or self-conscious.

This is a way to use rehearsal strategically:  it will prepare your for a spontaneous and authentic presentation of yourself and your business message.