Here is what comes to mind when I think of elevator speeches…
It’s artificial and it’s contrived. Worse, it’s painful, making most of us, whether we are giving or receiving them quite simply…. uncomfortable.
There is such a thing, even in networking situations, as a normal conversation. It is what normal people do. You make small talk and something in what the other person says prompts a question. Another topic comes up, which prompts further conversation, and in that conversation, is when a connection is made and rapport is built. Eventually, someone gets curious and asks ‘what do you do?‘, by which stage, there should be some level of comfort such that the question is no longer an uncomfortable one.
The thing is, we have been ‘trained’ by the business world and networking experts that an elevator speech is necessary and the most effective way to sell yourself. Perhaps. I offer the alternative view, that it is not the ONLY way to sell yourself, and while we are on that line of thought, let’s also remove the word ‘sell’ and its other variants.
- Think about what you do and who you do it for;
- Think about why you enjoy your work and what drives you.
There is no need to spill a 60-second speech about yourself except in very formulaic networking situations that expect that.
If elevator speeches make you cringe, how authentic can you be when giving one and would it effectively represent you?