Be Conversational and Authentic: Rehearse Your Elevator Speech

Here is a strategy to help you rehearse the delivery of your elevator speech, to generate interest and begin conversations that lead to sales.

Rehearsal is very important for business speakers, just as it is for actors. Many people mistakenly believe that rehearsing makes you sound “canned” or phony. If that’s what happens when you rehearse, you need strategies for effective rehearsal.

When actors are speaking lines, their job is to make it sound as if they’re making it all up – right there on the spot. So, rehearsal is the preparation to appear completely spontaneous, conversational, and authentic.

Here is a very useful strategy that actors use to rehearse. It’s called “endowment. The task is to “endow” your listeners with qualities that will help you speak with them the way you speak with a friend in conversation.

Rehearse with the following three steps:

Step 1: Think of a person from your own life (past, present; male, female; any age) in whose presence you feel cared for, trusted, and respected.

Step 2: Use the power of imagination before you begin. Choose a spot on the wall to place your focus. In your mind’s eye, “see” that person, right there in front of you.

Step 3: Use what actors call the “magic if”. As you say your elevator speech aloud, speak as if you were in conversation with that person. Take the time to connect with your positive feelings about him or her and allow this emotional connection to impact your tone and demeanor.

The more often you rehearse with the technique of endowment, the easier it will be for you to appear conversational – with spontaneity and authenticity.

Follow these steps, and you will be on your way to delivering your elevator speech in a way that generates interest and begin conversations that lead to sales.

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