How to Shine in One Minute or Less

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Can you successfully sell yourself in 1 minute or less? Most people don’t know exactly what to share about themselves in an elevator speech, so they tend to ramble on and take much longer than 1 minute. They never really get to the point. Or any point, come to think of it.

Recently, I’ve been asked to speak to several chambers and associations to help their people craft a clear, concise and provocative elevator speech. Here are some tips to get you prepared and keep you on track for your next big moment to shine:

Remember the listener’s perspective. Believe it or not, your elevator speech isn’t about you. It’s about the listener. What do your listeners want to know? They typically want to know 5 things:

  1. Who you are
  2. What you do
  3. Why is it important
  4. How you do it, and most importantly…
  5. “What’s in it for me?”

All of that should take 30-40 seconds. You can do it. I promise.

Build credibility. You’re probably as awesome as you say you are. Reality is, it’s not enough for you to say so. Who says so besides you?

Today, our customers are as savvy as ever. They’ve thoroughly researched our product or service before we ever meet them. So, it’s important to build credibility by sharing a brief success story.

In a networking scenario, keep your success stories high level, tailored to your audience, and (let me say it again) brief. Remember you only have about 20 seconds left!

Three components of a good success story:

  1. A recent client who benefited from your services
  2. The client’s challenge
  3. The results your client achieved by working with you

Stick the landing. Sometimes people stumble out of their elevator speeches the same way they stumbled into them. Close with power and purpose! A common close is something like, “So, I’d like to speak with you after the event.” NEWS FLASH: No one cares what you’d like. Use inclusive and assumptive language by saying, “Let’s chat after the event if this is of interest.”

So, putting the whole thing together, it might go something like this:

{Who you are} Hi, my name is Lauren Lucas. I am a performance consultant and instructor for Dale Carnegie Training. {What you do} We help improve the performance of organizations by improving the performance of their people {why it’s important} in order to increase employee engagement, drive revenue and help with succession planning.

{How you do it} We typically work with individuals and organizations in 3 main ways: One way is by enrolling individuals and small teams through our open-enrollment courses offered throughout Middle TN. Secondly, we customize solutions and bring them onsite to organizations. Finally, we also have an award-winning live online portal. {40-second mark!}

{What’s in it for them} Recently, we worked with a healthcare organization headquartered in Franklin. They wanted to increase their market share and expand their footprint. By working with them, they saw an increase in cold-call conversions (from point of contact to active negotiation) by 60%.

{Close} I don’t know if we could do the exact same for you. Let’s chat after the event to see what might be possible.”

Napoleon Hill once said, “The best way to sell yourself to others is to sell others to yourself.” Be magnetic by speaking in terms of the other person’s interest. Prepare, keep it brief, and shine on!

For more information on creating elevator pitches and developing presentation skills, visit our High Impact Presentations course.

Blog Post written by Lauren Lucas

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