Mastering Your Elevator Speech for Networking and Job Searching

Creating An Effective Elevator Speech For Job Search

We’ve all been there. Attending a seminar, networking event, or social function, and the leader announces, “Before we get started, let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves. Stand up and give us your elevator speech.”

For many, this is a moment of anxiety. Inside, you might be thinking, “Please don’t call on me first. I should have prepared for this. Please don’t let me embarrass myself!”

I’ve experienced this firsthand, and it’s not fun. But fear not! With the right preparation, you can deliver a compelling elevator speech with confidence.

What is an Elevator Speech and Why Have One?

An elevator speech is a personal, concise “mini-infomercial” that clearly communicates who you are and what you do.

It’s not meant for selling; rather, its purpose is to inform listeners about your job search or career goals.

A well-crafted elevator speech helps others understand what you want and your expertise, allowing them to decide whether to engage in further conversation or refer you to others.

Two Distinct Audiences for an Elevator Speech

Elevator speeches are delivered to two different audiences: groups and individuals. Each scenario has specific objectives and requires a tailored approach.

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Group Elevator Speech

Objective:

  • Ensure everyone understands who you are and what type of position you seek.
  • Make a clear and immediate impact, so listeners are not confused about your message.

Goal:

  • People should approach you during breaks or after the event, ask questions, and set up future conversations.

Individual, Face-to-Face Elevator Speech

Planned Setting:

  • Occurs during scheduled networking events with designated times for mingling.

Unplanned Setting:

  • Happens spontaneously, such as in line at a store or during casual conversations.

Goals:

  1. Disqualify: Not everyone will be able to help you, so quickly determine if the person can be a valuable contact.
  2. Engage: Ideally, the person shows interest, offers a connection, or suggests meeting again.

Crafting Your Elevator Speech: A Floor-by-Floor Approach

Elevator:

  • Each “floor” of your speech should convey specific, essential information.

Speech:

  • It’s a mini-presentation. Remember, speaking opportunities are business, career, and leadership opportunities.

The Essence of a Great Elevator Speech

A great elevator speech should:

  • Clearly articulate what you do.
  • Be succinct and impactful.
  • Showcase something that indicates your expertise.

Example of an Ultimate Elevator Speech

My “Ultimate Elevator Speech”:

Hello. My name is Fred Miller. I’m a speaker, coach, and author. The title of my first book is “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” Businesses, individuals, and organizations hire me because they want to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. They do this because they know speaking opportunities are business, career, and leadership opportunities. They also know we perceive really good speakers as experts, and we like to work with experts. I show them how to develop, practice, and deliver a ‘knock your socks off’ presentation with NO SWEAT!

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Key Points:

  • Introduction: Who you are and your roles.
  • Credibility: Mention a key achievement or title.
  • Value Proposition: Why people hire you.
  • Call to Action: The outcome you provide.

The “Twitter-Type” Elevator Speech

Sometimes, you might be asked to deliver your speech in 15 words or less due to time constraints. Here’s how you can craft a brief but powerful message.

Example: “Hi, I’m Fred Miller. I help professionals master public speaking to advance their careers and leadership.”

Tips for Preparing and Practicing Your Elevator Speech

  1. Clarity is Key: Ensure your speech is clear and easy to understand.
  2. Practice Regularly: Rehearse your speech until you can deliver it confidently and naturally.
  3. Tailor for the Audience: Adjust your speech depending on whether you’re addressing a group or an individual.
  4. Seek Feedback: Practice with friends or colleagues and refine based on their feedback.

Conclusion

Mastering your elevator speech is essential for effective networking and job searching. By preparing and practicing your speech, you can make a lasting impression and open doors to new opportunities.

Remember, an impactful elevator speech can be the key to landing your next job or advancing your career. So start crafting and practicing your elevator speech today!

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D. Jessica

D. Jessica is a mum to two sweet little boys. She hoards children's books and sunglasses, and is a sucker for anything bright and shiny.

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