Whether you’re looking for a job or attending a networking event, you should have a 30-second elevator pitch in your back pocket. This quick commercial, spotlighting you, is the best way to garner someone’s interest. The goal being, that the person you are meeting will want to know more about you and your service.
Here are 5 tips to think about when you are putting together your elevator pitch:
1. Just the facts. Write down the answers to these questions: Who are you? What do you do? What benefits do you offer? Who is your ideal customer? It’s important to remember that as much as this is an introduction of yourself, it’s also a chance for you to show how you are going to make someone else’s life better. For example: Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. As a speech coach, I help people have more fun standing in front of an audience. I am always looking for people who need help delivering their message.”
2. Be specific.You don’t have time to recite your whole resume. Write down your major accomplishments and your specific skill set. Look at your list and take out all unnecessary words. The best way to do this is to say it out loud. Grab a friend and go over it with her. You want to come across as yourself. Memorize your pitch but it needs to come across naturally. The more you practice, the more you fine tune, the more you will find your message coming across smoothly. You want to sound conversational and not like an infomercial.
3. Write your headline. When you feel that you have a solid 30-second commercial, try to make it 15-seconds. We don’t always have time to say everything we want. The best bet we have is to be able to say enough to get someone’s attention. Hopefully, that person will ask for your business card and inquire about your services. For example: “Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. I will help you deliver your message with confidence.”
4. Be confident. Before you meet someone, check your posture. Walk in the room with your head up and your shoulders back. When you shake the person’s hand, smile, and look him in the eyes. When you introduce yourself, be upbeat, and speak clearly.
5. Listen carefully. As much as you want to talk about yourself take time to hear what the other person is saying. The more you pay attention to what the other person’s wants and needs are, the better chance you have of addressing her concerns. When someone feels that they are genuinely being heard, the more she will want to engage with you. Connections and relationships can be formed fairly quickly when there’s respect for each other’s ideas.
Working on an elevator pitch takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. It gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and gives people an insight into what you can offer. You never know who will meet that can give you the chance of a lifetime.
Natural Awakenings is a wonderful magazine geared for people who are looking to find ways to becoming more healthy mentally and physically. My article is about how E.M.D.R. therapy can help people who have PTSD or unexplained phobias. It's a fascinating type of therapy that doesn't use hypnosis or medication.
Chris Griswold is the founder and Academic Director of Thunderbolt Comedy and co-founder and chief education officer of Engage: Improv for Life.
Chris also works as a writer and actor in New York City, appearing in a variety of comedy videos, commercials, and PSAs for mental health and equality.
Chris spent years focusing on his teaching, working with more than a dozen teams in a week, teaching in such far-off places as Amsterdam and Kansas City, and working with remote solo clients and groups as far away as South Africa.
Chris is originally self-taught in improv, but he has trained with both the Annoyance Theater and extensively with the Upright Citizens Brigade, where he previously worked as registrar and diversity liaison.
With a history in social media and journalism, Chris also teaches private workshops for business and conferences in topics such as branding, team-building, and creativity training.
For more information:
Rhonda Enea is an enthusiastic life practitioner. She is a Qigong teacher, healer, life coach and aspiring YouTube channel host. Her specialty is the art of meditation and explores a variety of methods with her students and clients. She is the owner of Beach Plum Wellness, a network based bio-tech company dedicated to the progressive science of Redox Signaling.
Although her passions are many, her three sons and their partners are the radiant center of her heart, oh, and her pets Li-Li and Priya 😉
I’m sitting with my friend, Michele, in an Irish Pub. We are having a drink and talking about the different aspects of motivational speaking. We are both working on putting out our research in hopes that our findings will help other people. We want to be different and yet we’re worried that we are not saying anything new.
The realization is not surprising to us. We know we are not reinventing the wheel. Our passion for our projects stems from wanting to solve our own issues. We have both found, through our experiences, that our problems are not unique, but how we handled them are. It’s that perspective that we want to talk about. It’a distilling our scientific findings into something that can be relatable, that we both find overwhelming. We are working together to help each other stay on track and stay motivated. We both have to admit that failing is a real fear and that we may never leave this Irish Pub.
Our conversation turned to the topic of people who want to help others by telling them all of their pitfalls and hurdles that they went through to be successful. The promise is that they will teach you about what to avoid and keep you from making the same mistakes.
I believe that though the information is being given to help others, I can’t help but feel that everyone will experience setbacks and failures. I don’t think there is any way around it. It’s like trying to teach your children what you’ve learned so that they don’t make the same mistakes. In the end, they will still have to pray to the porcelain bowl because they drank or partied too much. We can’t keep them or ourselves from making mistakes. That’s how we learn.
I’m not saying that there isn’t value in trying to help others succeed and keep them from making bad decisions. I just think it should be said that everyone has their own journey. We will have to face our own challenges. I think that’s why after attending a rousing, energetic speech on being your best self, that a few days later, the energy seems to have dissipated. We have to find our own way of being our own cheerleader.
It’s great to feel inspired, encouraged and supported. It’s wonderful when you are in a like-minded group and the excitement of endless possibilities is in the air. No one wants that feeling to leave. How do you make it stay? How do you keep that level of enthusiasm going? What kind of Jedi mind tricks will work?
I realize that my road to success is what I make it. There isn’t a magic pill or seminar that’s going to do it for me. I’ve learned to employ different techniques to keep me on my path. I still find myself resorting to playing solitaire or wandering around the kitchen trying to decide what comfort food will eat up my time. I then will go back to my work and plug away.
One of the best things I do is to sit and have a conversation with myself, out loud. Living in my head, leaves me feeling defeated. Talking out loud, I can pay closer attention to how I’m really feeling. I can then counter argue and point out all the great progress I’ve made. I talk about my fears, my procrastination, my self-doubt, all the same things everyone does. So much for being special.
In his book ” What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. wrote:“The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about, it will create. It has no choice.”
That is what is great about working with a friend. Michele will tell me what she is struggling with and I can easily relate. As I tell her how important her ideas are and that she is on the right track, it reminds me to do the same.
I believe we all need to feel validated on the work we choose to do. I know that we can all learn from each other and recognize we are all trying to achieve fulfillment in our lives. Listening to someone who wants to motivate you to do that is awesome. Just remember that at the end of the day we need to find that empowerment in ourselves. We will make mistakes. We will not be perfect. We will feel like a fraud. We will also learn about ourselves; we will challenge ourselves and we will accomplish greatness. Or not. And that’s okay too. Because every step we take towards our goal is another reason to celebrate ourselves.
Whatever we do in this lifetime, to help ourselves and the people around us, makes life meaningful. To learn, to grow, to be content are all valuable goals to attain. It’s nice to be reminded that we are all in this together. The best part, having a good friend to sit and talk to in an Irish Pub.
Public speaking is terrifying for most people. Just the thought of it can make our hands sweat, our heart beat fast and throwing up doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Getting up and presenting to an audience is more than just relaying information; it’s doing our best to get our ideas across. Being able to communicate effectively is important to our business success as well as personal success, whether it’s a presentation we have to do at work, a networking event or a wedding toast. One of the first things that we take for granted when stepping onto a stage is our breathing. So far I haven’t seen anyone pass out on stage because they forgot to breathe; what I have seen is speakers holding their breath and swallowing their words. The throat is tight, the mouth is dry and the sound is not coming across clear and crisp.
That’s when you should remember to be a B.R.A.T. Breathe-Relax-And-Talk.
I have three steps for you to take to calm your nerves, project your voice and breathe through your speech.
Step 1: When we are nervous we tend to take short breaths, which keeps our heart rate up. To reduce anxiety before going onstage, learn to breathe deeply.
Please place one hand on your chest and another on your stomach. I want you to take a deep breath that expands your stomach, not your chest. Inhale through your nose, breathe in for four counts. Hold your breath for four counts and release the air through your mouth for four counts.
This type of deep breathing is great when we are feeling anxious, nervous or ready to punch someone in the face. It will help lower our blood pressure and keep us calm and focused. Before taking the stage, stand up tall, pull shoulders back and take a deep breath. This gives the mind and body a chance to feel confident.
Step 2: Learning how to project our voice without yelling at the audience. It’s important to be heard throughout the room when a microphone is not available. Please stand up. Place one hand on your chest and your other hand in front of your mouth. Take a deep breath and say “Hello. How Are You?” Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in that expands your stomach. Now place your hand near your mouth and say “Hello. How Are You?”.
The force of air the second time should’ve been stronger than the first. Expanding your stomach with air is how you can use your diaphragm to project your voice. This will make your voice stronger and clearer. This will also give your voice more resonance. Your voice will sound fuller when you breathe from your diaphragm as opposed to breathing from your chest.
When giving a presentation, it’s a good idea to warm up vocal chords and face muscles. Move the jaw around and stretch the mouth. Do a large yawn. Gently move your neck from side to side. Lift your shoulders and release any tension that may be there. Slowly say the vowels A,E,I,O,U and exaggerate each letter. Do some tongue twisters: Red Leather, Yellow Leather, She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers, Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy Had No Hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy Wasn’t Fuzzy Was He? Here’s a link for more tongue twisters.
Keep your vocal chords from getting dry by staying hydrated, drink water.
Step 3: When you are practicing your speech, practice breathing through your speech. My suggestion for understanding what that means is to put marks on your speech where you should be pausing to take a breath. This will slow down your speech making you aware of pronouncing all of your words. We have all heard people speak and found many of the words inaudible. We know through experience what the person is trying to say, but we are left with the feeling that the speaker isn’t very polished. Breathing through your speech helps you to enunciate, which makes your voice ring clear.
Remember to be a B.R.A.T. Breathe, Relax and Talk. Practice breathing techniques, relax your neck and shoulders and talk at an even pace. All of this will help you become a more effective communicator.