Speaking to your audience

My MBA is teaching me so many things!  Recently, we were asked to prepare an elevator speech.  It sounded easy enough.  Pretend that you are walking on an elevator.  You just had a heck of a morning.  As the elevator door closes, the top person at your company walks on.  In the next 60 seconds, you need to grab their attention and with a well thought out message.  Then, “hook” them with just enough information to create an opportunity for a future meeting.

When thinking about what you would say, consider the following points.

  • Who are you going to deliver your elevator speech to?  Do you know your audience well enough to present the information in a casual format or should you be more formal?  I chose a somewhat casual approach because I have a relationship with the person I was hoping to deliver my message to.
  • Do you have your endpoint in mind?  In other words, do you specifically know what you want to accomplish?  My goal was to point out an area of common interest and link it to the topic I wanted to discuss.
  • How can you get to the next step?  Try to determine why what is important to you is also important to the person you are talking to.  Pique their interest with enough content for them to want to learn more.

It takes a lot of planning and creativity to make a point in sixty seconds or less.  Recently, I had the opportunity to deliver my “elevator speech” to the person I had created it for.  I was surprised that sixty seconds was all I needed to make my point.  It also created an opportunity for me to make a future appointment with that person.  He wants to learn more!

Will you be prepared for your next elevator ride?  Planning your 60 seconds could be one of your best career moves.

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