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Communicating Your Story pt 2 - Elevator Speech


An ‘elevator speech’ is a snappy summary of YOU in the short time it would take you to ride in a lift/elevator with someone (also very useful at networking events and can help quell the nerves when someone asks you the dreaded question of “who are you?”). It should leave someone with a good understanding of what you are about and something for them to remember you by!


Given you have so little time to communicate your message, it is key to think through the following:


· Who is the audience? Depending on who you are talking to will depend on how you adapt your story. Tailoring it to the audience is key to ensure you are remembered and stand out. If you are talking to someone more senior you might focus more on financials, however if you are speaking to someone who is applying for a role in your team then you may want to go into more detail on you as a person and your leadership style.


· Keep it concise and to the point – it may be difficult to reduce down an exhaustive career into a few sentences, but the punchier the better. Think about the one takeaway you’d like the person you are talking to, to have about you (as let’s face it, we don’t listen to everything someone says to us!). You want to spark interest not bore someone!


· Practise but don’t memorize – it’s important to know what you are going to say, but a fully memorised speech can sound robotic and in-authentic


Start thinking through and brainstorming your strengths, your unique selling point (what sets you aside?) and the role/business you are in now.


A corporate example of an ‘elevator speech’ to someone more senior might be “I’m a seasoned and well thought of leader with a global team of managers designing and implementing technical product changes to HR personnel systems. As well as managing a large team, I also manage a large $5m budget. I started my career as a customer service consultant, so have a good understanding of the customer needs and hold a degree in design management”.


The same person might adapt their elevator speech for someone looking for a role in their team “I’m a seasoned and well thought of leader with a global team of managers based in India, UK and US. My team work on using design thinking principles to develop HR personnel systems. It’s a fast paced and exciting environment with a lot of exposure to senior leaders. The customer is at the heart of what we create so we work closely to ensure we design something fit for purpose. Working directly with customers at the start of my career gave me a good insight to this”


Both of these examples tell us about the person, but have been adapted based on who they are communicating to. Each person should walk away with a better understanding of the person and one key thing that makes them stand out or remember you.


Let me know in the comments if this has helped you with your elevator speech?

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