How to Tell People What You Do in 30 Seconds or Less

Posted on by admin | in longhorn

Developing an effective elevator speech is an important part of marketing yourself as an entrepreneur. An elevator speech is a short but effective description of your line of work that can be given if you found yourself in an elevator with a potential professional connection In a job market that’s still highly competitive as the economy struggles to rebound, it’s more essential than ever that professionals look for new and innovative ways of marketing themselves when the opportunity arises. These tips can help you craft the perfect elevator speech, allowing you to tell others what you do in the clearest, most concise way possible.

Establish Credibility

Before you start describing your earning potential or making a networking pitch, you’ll need to offer some bit of information that speaks to your credibility as an opening gambit. The first few seconds of your elevator speech should be used to share information that lends some credibility to your claims. For instance, start the conversation by explaining what you’ve done in the past to earn a reputation as a successful entrepreneur or businessperson. That way, you’ll set yourself apart as a professional that actually delivers on your claims, rather than one that’s filled with great ideas but has no practical knowledge about how to make those ideas a reality.

Stay Focused

It’s easy to become flustered when you’re trying to sum up your entire professional persona in less time than the average commercial break, but allowing yourself to be distracted from your objective can clutter your speech with extraneous verbiage that only serves to detract from the image you’re trying to convey. You might not want to memorize your elevator speech entirely in order to avoid it sounding forced, but having a basic script that you work from can prevent the rambling and loss of focus that often accompanies an on-the-spot explanation of your professional role and value.

Avoid Industry Jargon

You may have such an innate understanding of what you do that acronyms and industry jargon flows as freely as a fluent second language, but that doesn’t mean that the person listening to you has that same knowledge. Resorting to acronyms and abbreviations might reduce the amount of time it takes to make your speech, but you’ll likely spend more time trying to translate for an unindoctrinated listener. Make sure that you work out an elevator speech that’s concise and to the point, but one that doesn’t presuppose a certain level of familiarity with your particular corner of the professional world. Ideally, your elevator speech should be as easy for someone who’s never worked a day within your industry to understand as it is for someone working on the same project.

Hit the High Points

You don’t have to leave the listener with an in-depth understanding of your job, you just need to make sure that they have the basic idea before you part ways. Short and sweet is the angle you’re looking for, so just include the highlights of your professional experience or job description in an elevator speech. Cramming extraneous information into a short explanation can actually make it more difficult for your listener to figure out what you do, so don’t try to make your listener an expert on the subject. More in-depth explanations should be offered when further information is requested, rather than heaped on your listener from the outset of the conversation.

Offer Specific Examples

In order to help your listener understand what you do and how it matters on a professional level, you should offer a specific example or two of how actions you’ve taken on a professional level have affected the outcome of a situation or made a difference. In order to put your short explanation into perspective, your listener will need to be able to apply that explanation to real-life situations.

Crafting an effective elevator speech may take a bit of time and effort, but it will pay off in spades in the long run. From marketing yourself in networking settings to simply offering a reasonable, concise explanation of your job title in social settings, the ability to quickly and accurately describe your professional life is a valuable one.


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