Tip of the Month - Elevator Speech by Stewart Mednick

by 03 Oct 2008
People. Our business is all about people. Your success is all about satisfying these people. Their satisfaction starts with your meeting them. If you do not impress people with your initial contact, you may not have a second chance to impress, and then satisfy these people. Ultimately, not developing a reputation of being successful by creating a list of people you served to their satisfaction and beyond will be the consequence. None of us can afford this. So how do you meet, impress and capture the attention of people at first contact? The ?elevator speech.? There are four key elements to the elevator speech as I see it. The first is the purpose. So, what is an elevator speech? My definition: It is a semi-scripted verbal presentation that describes who you are, what you do, how you are ?unique? and it is recited inside of the time it takes to ride an elevator to a designated floor; thus, the name: elevator speech. With this in mind, when you set foot in an elevator, you are with another person or a few other people, start a conversation with your elevator speech. When the door is opening, you will state you would like to finish the conversation later and can you call the person. The exchange of contact information is the goal. The elevator speech is the device to obtain the goal. The second element is the ?hook? to describe why you are unique. Develop a phrase or slogan that rhymes, is a pun, or is a catchy saying that is memorable. Mnemonics is a powerful tool for humans to remember things; it is the memory tool. According to Wikipedia, (www.wikipedia.org): ?A mnemonic device (pronounced /nəˈmɒnɪk/) is a memory aid. Commonly met mnemonics are often verbal, something such as a very short poem or a special word used to help a person remember something?. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that is to be remembered. This is based on the principle that the human mind much more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, sexual or humorous, or otherwise meaningful information than otherwise meaningless sequences?..? You have a short time so make every word count and with a hook, you will be remembered. The third element is attributes or contents. Attributes are the important characteristics of who you are. Two attributes are about all you can fit in the short time of the elevator speech. Contents, I define as the use of each word carefully and succinctly so no time is wasted in your presentation. The contents of your elevator speech support the purpose. Include your job, what makes you unique and include an open ended question to engage the audience and to start a conversation or a reason to contact the person in the near future. The fourth element is timing. Be able to recite your elevator speech within anywhere from 17 seconds to 30 seconds. If you know you have dedicated attention from your audience, you may be able to squeeze out one minute. So, you can have a short, medium and long version. The short version is the core; has all four elements at the minimum. The medium version has two more sentences to describe more attributes to add value to your minimal core speech. The long version can add embellishing information that is not necessarily vital, but can specialize your speech to the specific audience. Put it all together, and you have an elevator speech that may be similar to this: ?Hello, I am Stewart, I write for the Niche Report on topics that enhance relationship development, sales, and personal empowerment of mortgage professionals. ?From Contact to Contract? is how I can help you. What mortgage magazines do you read?? My speech will take about fifteen seconds. I state who I am, what I do, for whom I do it, a mnemonic device is used as a hook and explains why I am unique, and I end with a question to engage the listener. I stated in the onset of this column, that the elevator speech is ?semi-scripted.? This means that you should have key words, a hook and the basis for final question memorized. The rest will or can be altered every time you recite your elevator speech. You never want to come across as a telemarketer by sounding mechanical with a totally memorized script that you repeat to everyone the same way. I know that 17 seconds leaves little time for adlibbing. However, you may have 30 seconds more frequently. Adding two sentences can give you much needed latitude for variation. How can you remember what are the elements of an elevator speech so you can ensure you have all of them in yours? P-H-A-C-Ts (Purpose, Hook, Attributes or Content, Timing) or as Sergeant Friday would say on the old TV show, Dragnet, ??just the phacts, Ma?am?just the facts?.? That?s my mnemonic device for you. Contact me if you would like an opinion or coaching on your elevator speech. Stewart Mednick is a seasoned mortgage banker and published author. His writing focuses on relationship development, personal empowerment, customer satisfaction, marketing and sales techniques. Stewart is available for marketing consulting, personal coaching and training sessions. If you have a comment or a question for Stewart, contact him at 651-895-5122 or smednick1@netzero.net

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