Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's Your Elevator Speech?

Someone once told me to always have an “elevator speech” ready. What, you ask, is an elevator speech? It is a 3-5 minute description of who you are and what you do and it usually includes some interesting tidbit about who you are or what motivates you or some little nugget that would make you interesting to the elevator speech audience.

I am usually faced with producing my elevator speech on airplanes. As much as I desperately try to avoid conversation with my seatmate(s), seventy percent of the time I am finding myself giving it. I often wish that my seatmate had an elevator speech because usually they give me a 45 minute monologue on their life, their family history, and any medical conditions they may be facing at the moment. I once had a seatmate tell me within the first three minutes of my sitting next to her that she was having surgery on some female issues (I will spare you the graphic details) later that week. I think I must have stared at her for a full minute before I reacted to her story. I could tell it was going to be a very long flight. Thankfully, she was removed (she was in the wrong seat) and replaced with a teenager who slept the entire flight. Whew.

I digress.

So, my elevator speech goes something like this:

“My name is 1SweetMama (name changed to protect the innocent!) and I am a mother of two boys, ages 14 and 9, and we live in Le Mars, Iowa, The Ice Cream Capital of the World. Le Mars is actually called The Ice Cream Capital of the World because more ice cream is made in my town than any other town on the planet. Le Mars is actually located in the northwest corner of Iowa and it is about 30 miles north of Sioux City. I have been employed at Wells’ Dairy, Inc. (we make Blue Bunny ice cream), with the exception of a four month sabbatical, since 1998. Presently, I am in the "blah, blah, blah" department serving as the "yaddah, yaddah manager" (awww, c'mon....I have to leave some mystery to 1SweetMama's identity!). What this means is that I am do stuff to get people to buy Blue Bunny ice cream (again....nebulous....I am kind of an enigma). I also love to write and do some copywriting for Wells’ Dairy, including writing my own blog about how sweet life is. I really do enjoy my work.”

With the appropriate dramatic pauses and inflections, this elevator speech takes me about three to four minutes. It sums up who I am and what I do and how it relates to them. Sometimes there is a follow-up question and answer period but the gist is that it is concise.

Elevator speeches work great on airplanes, at small dinner parties, or even if called upon for a “get-to-know-you” ice breaker activity. I highly recommend you carry your elevator speech in your “cerebral back pocket” so that you can quickly and easily reference it at a moment’s notice.

Now, an “elevator speech” should not be confused with your “Oscar Speech”, which we will talk about next time. Stay tuned! Until then, I remain…..1SweetMama

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