Composing an elevator speech can be one of the most important tasks you do as an entrepreneur. The process helps you to get clear on how to state who you are as an entrepreneur, your mission, target client/consumer, and intended interaction. It’s a detailed description of your product and/or services said in one minute or less.
The elements within your elevator speech help you to:
- Defining who you are.
- Brief description of what you do.
- Identify your ideal client/customers.
- Explain how your services/products are unique.
- States what you want to happen next.
- Develop an inciting hook.
Most entrepreneurs know in their mind what they plan to accomplish; however, putting those thoughts into words is altogether another thing. Do you know what to say when someone, especially the family member who may not support you, asks, “What are you doing?”
I know from experience that it’s hard to stand in front of the person while stumbling, stammering and searching for the right words to say. The natural long pauses and various other nervous ticks we do when put on the spot will persuade no one of how serious we are to succeed. Confidence evaporates and now you’re attempting to convince them you know what you’re doing.
By clearly stating your elevator speech, you have a better chance to gain support and respect regarding your endeavor. This is your verbal business card, or “commercial”, and it shows that you’re ready to do business.
It’s time to write it out; get the words out of your head and onto paper. You have a brilliant idea that you feel will be useful and helpful to your target audience. Use this standard format to get the ink flowing:
I am [brief description of what you do] [who benefits from your product/services] [what is the solution you offer] [state expected result].
For example: My name is Cindy. I am a website designer providing sole-preneurs and authors the opportunity to streamline their time to be more efficient by developing and maintaining their WordPress websites so they can focus on income generating tasks. By taking the time to listen and ask the right questions, my clients have a custom designed website that reflects their “voice” and mission.
Once you have the first draft composed, practice, practice, practice. Each time you say it out loud, you may tweak the statement. Keep rehearsing it until it flows easily off your tongue.
Practicing your elevator speech on a friend or colleague is helpful and will make it easier to memorize. By knowing it, when someone asks you what you do in a way that doesn’t fit your well-rehearsed statement, you can intuitively adjust to genuinely answer their inquiry.
The purpose of the elevator speech is to open a dialog, encourage follow-up questions and engage the individual to want to know more. One way to know if they want to know more is to watch their body language. Are they looking you in the eye? Are they searching their cell phone for something? Are they looking around the room seeking a distraction to utilize? Or are they engaged in what you are sharing.
If you find people are not interested in what you have to say, it’s time to re-work your statement. Start with a blank slate and begin by utilizing questions the individuals asked you and what clarification they requested.
Enjoy the process.