As I stood in the tent that was bustling with women business owners I listened as people introduced themselves and asked the question “what do you do?” Just about everyone choked as they tried to answer. Why? Because they weren’t prepared.
Whether you go to a networking event, party, or just to the grocery store, there is a chance that someone will want to know what you do. You’ll need to explain what you do effectively within 60 seconds or else you will lose the interest of the person who asked.
How To Prepare Your Elevator Speech
We are going to talk about six key questions you need to ask yourself to prepare your elevator speech.
You might find it helpful to write the answers to these question in MS Word or Trello to help you organize your answers. You want to be able to mix and match the answers you create into an easy to edit (on the fly) elevator speech that you can use anytime it comes up.
- Who Are You? – This is simply your name and maybe a random fact related to your audience and business as well. “Hi, I’m Doctor so and so, and I take away people’s pain.”
- What Do You Do? – Add more of what you do, remember to frame it from the audience’s perspective. If you state “I’m a graphic designer” no one really knows what that is. You could create websites, you could develop logos, create videos – there is so much that could happen under that “graphic designer” label. Be very specific about what you do concerning the benefits you’re providing someone.
- Who Do You Do It For? – Knowing who your audience is will also help tremendously when preparing your elevator speech. You want everything you say directed toward them so it’s important that you can name who they are within the elevator speech. “Hi, I’m Doctor so and so, and through my company XYZ, I help lower back pain sufferers overcome their pain while designing deeply satisfying lives.”
- Why Do You Do It? – You might want to add in something about your why. Right now, just answer why you do it. “For years I suffered from lower back pain that doctors could do nothing about.” “My mother suffered in pain for many years.” Whatever your why is, try to describe it in one sentence.
- What is Your USP? – A USP is a unique selling point or proposition. This requires that you understand who your competition is and how you’re different. Adding into the elevator speech what differentiates you from the competition is a must. “For years I suffered from lower back pain until I discovered, through my company’s product XYZ, how to end it once and for all without using prescription pain medication or spending tons of money on physical therapy.”
- What’s Next? – Always provide some way for them to contact you. What I’ve done before going to networking events is tailor a free offer that they can download from my site. I then hand them a card with the QR code that they can scan and be taken right to my landing page where they give me their name and email address.
- Finally, you want to create a hook to bring them in as well as put it all together in a conversational manner. You don’t want to sound robotic or overly prepared, it should seem as if you’re simply talking but that you know your stuff and what you do. You can use this speech in many ways throughout your business – including sales pages, in marketing literature, and in conversations, you have with others at any event.
One major difference between your elevator speech and someone else’s is your warmth and enthusiasm. You want to pull people in and have them paying attention to what you say. If you feel you have a product or service that will benefit others then make sure you take the time to craft your elevator speech.
No one can answer the question “what do you do?” better than you.