5 mistakes you're making in your 60-second elevator speech

Your elevator speech is the answer to a simple question: “What do you do?” So, why is it so hard to deliver? It shouldn’t be that hard to answer yet it is for most of us. Why is that? I have a few theories:

  1. You suffer from performance anxiety.

    It’s a lot of pressure to sum up your work in a couple of sentences, especially if you’re introducing yourself to someone you want to impress. If you haven’t practiced a response, your performance anxiety may make you hem and haw and botch your answer.

  2. You say too much.

    It’s hard to pick and choose the best bits to put in your elevator speech, so you pack it all in and create a wall of words that crushes the listener with so much detail, they can’t take anything in.

  3. You don’t know your goal.

    What’s the point of the elevator speech you’re about to give? What do you want your listener to do after they hear it? What conversation are you trying to start with this person? Thinking about the goal will help you decide what to include and what to leave out.

  4. You forget your listener.

    Most of us don’t think about our elevator speech from the listener’s point of view. What problem do they have that you might be able to solve? What are they looking for that your speech might help them find?

  5. You DON’T have A FEW speechES.

    Your answer to the question “What do you do"?” is going to be different at a backyard BBQ than it is at a job interview so you can’t have one size that fits all. You need to have several speeches and know your content so well that you can weave together different aspects of the speech for every situation.

Let me show you how to avoid these common pitfalls. For help revising or finessing your elevator speech — both the content and how you say it, join me on at one of my workshops. Email me to get on the list for the next one or to inquire about one-on-one coaching.

Photo by Lauren Peng at Unsplash