Posted Monday, January 31, 2005
The number one requirement, whether you are a business owner or an employee, is to be able to say what you do, and say it with influencing results. Through testing, I have seen, experienced, and received feedback that an elevator speech no longer works. My test results show that elevator speeches are too slow and too boring. People know what’s coming and have mindfully tuned out it out before the first sentence. Elevator speeches don't stop the listener in their moment, which is exactly what you need to do. An introduction that starts with a firecracker impact does stop them in their moment.
Pitching what you do needs energy -- energy in your voice and body language. The same energy you have if you're pitching your screenplay to an agent or getting a large crowd’s attention. Elevator speeches have become over processed and passive. People only notice if you give a poor one and that is because they measured it against their own. A good introduction, without a firecracker beginning, doesn't stop them in their moment.
You want them to remember you and your answer for a long time. Not just 10 minutes, the next day when they call you to pitch you, but next week, next month, when something happens and their pain appear. Better yet, when they are talking to someone else and see the pain-solution results. They see you as the answer. A firecracker stays with people for quite some time. Where were you the last time you saw fireworks? Once triggered, I'm sure you remember the day, the time, and whom you were with quite quickly.
You will want to create a memorable firecracker introduction that you can use everywhere -- in any introduction, any situation, as the key point of every presentation, voice- mail message, e-mail signatures, slogan on a business card or even as a headliner on your website home page.
Let’s learn this process together by beginning with a few examples I created. These examples will also give you hints on how you can open your pitches with a firecracker moment. Pitches that change people’s moments – ignite a firecracker under their assets.
Let’s assume you are at a networking event and someone asks, “What do you do?” You can open in one of several ways depending on the function and what you thought would intrigue people attending this event. The introduction must always lead to getting them to act on only one call to action. If your call to action is to sell space in an upcoming workshop, you don't promote your consulting services. Multiple action calls will dilute your message. Even worse, they confuse your listener.
Consider crafting several, still staying within the single call to action, by changing the wording ever so slightly so that it doesn't sound memorized just in case others are close enough to over hear you. This also works if you are testing to find the best language.
Always make the first sentence a declarative statement: "I perform miracles. Not the religious type, of course, the business type. Entrepreneurs, like [current or past client] and [another current or past client], hire me to make their marketing more attractive and pull in clients. I help them become a human magnet, drawing new businesses to them like bees make honey."
It is important for the very first sentence be short and declarative. Declarative doesn't ask, it asserts. Now stop for a few minutes and play with some ideas of your own. Be bold when playing; write with the energy of a firecracker.
A second method would be to open with a declarative question. Actually there isn't any such thing as a declarative question in grammar, so bare with me as I stretch a declarative statement. A declarative question is when you ask them a question but not for them to answer but with a declarative prowess. "Have you ever seen a speaker so dynamic and engaging that you forget where you are? Someone who teaches with inspiration, hypnotizes their audience, empowers people to act, all the while filling the atmosphere in the room with love. Then you haven't experienced me."
The first two sentences will determine whether they are listening. A firecracker intro guarantees that you will snap them out of their moment. If you find that these openers are too bold, you have my permission to continue to let people be in their own moment and keep trying to get a regular elevator speech to work.
About the Author
Marketing expert, Catherine Franz, is a columnist and author of thousands of articles on this and similar topics. Additional articles and newsletters are available at the Abundance Center or on Catherine's blog: (http://www.abundancecenter.com) blog: (http://abundance.blogs.com)