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Kill the Elevator Speech

The Elevator Speech Would Have Killed This Opportunity

It’s not every day you get to share a ride with an executive at one of the world’s biggest companies who becomes interested enough in what you do to ask you to get in touch. But THAT’s exactly what happened to me when I landed in San Francisco a few weeks ago.

The video below tells the story and I recorded it as part of my 30-day storytelling on video challenge.

Moral of the story: Quit using a dag-gum Elevator Speech! (I wrote a whole book about exactly how!)

How to Follow Up Without Looking Like a Spammer

carnival cruise ship

Photo courtesy of

Recently my husband and I enjoyed a week of sun and fun on the 9th Annual Marketer’s Cruise, where we were part of a group of 450+ business owners and marketing professionals on a ship in the Caribbean for networking, meeting new friends, and spending time with old friends.

Because this is a group of marketers, some who are seasoned, but very many newer folks, there are strict rules about what is allowed and what is not in terms of connecting with people during and after the cruise to “sell your stuff.” The definition of “cruise spam” is clear. The rules are:

  • Don’t blast everyone with your message, whether via email, social media, or even by dropping your business card by every room associated with the event (yes, someone actually DID that! At least we knew who to steer clear of!).
  • Don’t add anyone to your mailing lists who didn’t specifically asked to be added, and especially don’t go through the directory and/or addendum to add people who included their email addresses as part of their profile.
  • No overt selling, unless it comes up in conversation that someone tells you directly they are interested in your products or services and they specifically request to know more. Believe me, people will tell you if they are interested in what you have to offer and then the door is open.

The rules are made very clear both in welcome messages sent to each cruiser separately and to the group by means of our private Facebook community, as well as spoken out loud several times on the ship itself by the group coordinator and travel agent, Captain Lou. The rules boil down to STOP selling and see how you can help add value to someone else’s life.

That’s where things get fuzzy. How exactly can you add value? What if, as you’re going through the directory of all the people who attended, you read a bio of someone you didn’t meet on the ship (easy to miss many folks when there are more than 450) who, based on their info looks like they could be a great fit for what you offer? How can you take the conversation off the ship and outside of the Facebook community to see if there is some interest?

Well, as the author of “Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling and Start being helpful is the first step in being memorableConnecting,” I have a few ideas about this particular topic.

What led to this particular blog post was a spammy Facebook private message both my husband and I received yesterday. I described it and asked in the Facebook community:

So, is it considered “cruise spam” for my husband and I to have received the same exact “buy my stuff” private Facebook message from someone neither of us is friends with here and someone neither of us had any conversation with? Or is that just to be assumed as “follow up” (albeit it bad form & poorly done) by someone in a group of marketers? Overall I’ve been impressed with the personal follow up and connection, but now I just feel like I need a shower.

After confirming comments from Anita and Sarah that the message would indeed be considered spammy, one kind and forgiving soul, Scott, suggested maybe the person sending me the spammy message was new, but as it turns out, this person is far from new and even appeared on stage at the event, so theoretically should know better. Why I decided to write this post today is other commenters asked what is the best way to connect, summarized nicely by this question from Susan:

“So any suggestions on how to connect beyond the cruise without being spammy? For fear of being spammy, I haven’t really connected with a lot of people on the cruise that much after the cruise. I would love the connection because I want to know what they do, what are their upcoming events, projects and how we can help each other.”

And then our fearless leader even chimed in, Captain Lou himself, saying others may also be able to benefit from my thoughts. And here we are!

True Connection 101

How you connect with others after a business event of any kind, depends completely on the kind of interaction you had while at the event itself. What follows are my suggestions for how to do that in a way that builds a relationship, whether you buy from each other or not.

Situation 1: Met the person, had a conversation where they expressed interest in what you do as a potential product or service for themselves or someone they know:

This one is the easiest by far. If a person says, “I’d like to talk more with you about this after the event,” that’s your open door. Send an email, private message, or make a phone call to talk with that person more. In the message or at the beginning of the conversation remind the person how you met and a little about your conversation. At longer events and/or where there are hundreds of participants, while we all like to think we are memorable, it’s nice to help the other person connect your name and your face with a reminder of your conversation.

However do NOT simply add that person to your email list without asking first. Better yet, give that person your card and tell her how she can add herself to your list if she would like by offering something for free, for example.

Situation 2: Met the person, hung out for a little while, but business didn’t come up or no direct interest was expressed in what you do.

Let’s say you sat next to a person at one of the shows, or sang karaoke together, or did a cruise excursion to the same place and enjoyed your conversation enough that you decided to check out your new friend because work really didn’t come up. Look for the person in the directory of attendees, visit his social media page, or even Google him or otherwise find his website. Connect on social media for sure. Then if it feels like there might be a good fit, send a private message or email that looks like this:

“Hi John! I really enjoyed hanging out with you at the shore excursion to the Mayan ruins on Belize. I’m sorry we didn’t run into each other much the rest of the cruise. First, I wanted to send you this photo I took of us [or of you and your wife or whatever…].

Second, I had a few minutes to visit your website today and it looks like you’re up to some cool things. I loved your blog post about [be specific about something on his site that you really did like so he knows you’re not just spamming; actually comment on the blog post first. Or watch a video and comment. You get it.]. That got me to thinking we never did get around to talking about business. I don’t know if you had a chance to look at my website, but it’s and I thought, if you’re up for it, I’d love to talk to you about what you’re working on. Maybe there’s someone I can connect you with, or a project you’re working on that I might be able to offer help with in some way, and vice versa. What do you think? Of course I understand if you’re busy, and either way, it was great to spend some time with you and look forward to talking more soon!

– Your signature

PS Based on your website [post recently on Facebook, etc.], I think you might enjoy or find value in my free report [webinar, checklist, mp3, whatever…] Title That Would Make Sense to This Person. You can get it here:

I would not send a link to my calendar at this time. Yes, it would save time if the person wants to say yes, but it presumes too much. If the person emails back yes and does not send you his calendar link to schedule, then send yours. If the person replies back with a no thank you, or a not right now, then stay connected on social media.

Situation 3: You did NOT meet the person or you met only in passing.

With hundreds of people, it’s not likely you will meet everyone. But if you’re looking for leads from the event and don’t want to offend anyone, or worse, get banned from the group, here’s one way to connect.

First, visit the person’s website, blog, or social media accounts and comment on posts, share, retweet, pin, etc. Second, connect on social media. Third, send a PERSONAL message that goes something like this:

“Hi Name!

We didn’t have a chance to meet each other / or have a conversation on the recent marketers cruise, and now that I’m looking through the directory of attendees, I’m wishing we had. Although between my hubby and I loving all the fun shore excursions and the shows on the ship, I didn’t get to Pizza and Profits until later in the evenings. I’m really sorry I missed you, because as I was reading your entry in the directory you mentioned that you’re looking for help with [be specific, using the same language they used] and that’s just what I do for my clients.

If you want to know a little more about me, you can see me on page 268 of the addendum. I even created a special gift just for cruisers called, “The Marketers Cruise Guide to Speaking and Profits.” You can pick that up for free at

I took a few minutes to visit your webiste [blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel] and really like how you [be specific and give an honest compliment]. Also, I noticed a couple of things you could quickly and easily change that might make a big difference for you. I made you a super short video showing you what I mean that you can see privately here [use Jing or another screen capture video to add value by sharing immediately or don’t make a video, but offer a suggestion.] I’m actually doing a free webinar on that next week / or / if you’d like to talk a little more about it, I’d love to connect now.

You may not hear back right away, or at all. If this person seems like a good fit, you can copy the same message into a social media private message or email (whichever you didn’t use the first time) and suggest that with all the filters in place, you wanted to be sure the person received your message. If you don’t hear back again, and the person honestly looks like a good fit for what you do, move them to your offline direct marketing campaign path and send a print newsletter, your book, a post card, a direct response letter, or something else. Make it personal. Make it about them. Offer a specific solution to a specific problem they may have.

Situation 4: You want to know more about someone’s services (without feeling spammed).

No one likes to feel sold to, but everyone like to buy things, especially things we want and need. If you meet someone you think has a product or service that could help you, you can simply join their email list to see what they send, connect and follow them by paying attention on social media, or if you’re ready for the “big guns” of sales that some marketers use, tell them directly and ask for an appointment to talk more about your needs. Before the conversation, be clear on what EXACTLY you need, how you want it delivered, and what your budget is. Then it’s your job to see if the product or service is a good fit for your needs and the business owner should be listening to you to determine if you are a good fit for them.

Under no circumstances:

  • DO NOT: Have an assistant copy and paste the same generic message over and over again, whether it’s in email or on social media. Even if it sounds sort of personal or is written by someone who knows how to write copy, it’s still spam.
  • DO NOT: Send unsolicited “here’s my free stuff” messages without any reason related to the person you’re “reaching out” to.
  • DO NOT: Treat anyone as a number or just “another lead.” Every number in your funnel represents a person; a human being with needs and wants, hopes and dreams. They deserve to be respected, even if they don’t want to buy from you.

Finally, I’ll end with a story. My husband, Brent, and I met a wonderful couple, Dutch and Vanessa, on the cruise. We spent several evenings chatting, hanging out, and just having fun. If you’ve been married for any length of time, you know it’s rare to find couples friends, where the husbands have things in common, the wives have things in common, and even the opposite husband and wife have things in common. That was us with Dutch and Vanessa.

Naturally, the topic of business came up a few times with Dutch and Vanessa, but it was simply where the conversation went, rather than any one person trying to sell another. During one part of our conversation, after Dutch told me more about what he does for his clients, I suggested maybe we could talk about him helping me. And what he said next will stick with me for a long time. In that moment, he could have moved in to set up an appointment or tried to sell me on the spot. Perhaps instead, he could have been preparing me for a let down that maybe my business isn’t at the volume that his company requires or that we might not be a good fit, but he said,

“I don’t know if we will end up working together or if we won’t. But no matter what happens with work, I’d like to stay great friends.”

Doing business is about creating authentic connections and real relationships so we can help each other succeed.

Anything else just makes you look like a jerk out for only yourself.

Kill The Elevator Speech – Book Launch Results!

Kill the Elevator Speech Hits Numbers 1 and 2 in Hot New Releases on Amazon!

Kill the Elevator Speech Hits Numbers 1 and 2 in Hot New Releases on Amazon!


Yesterday I launched my new book, Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting. The image you see here started as a screen capture sent to me by Facebook friend and reader, Frederique Murphy, founder of Mountain Moving Mindset, international speaking and consultant based in Ireland.

Last night I finally crashed shortly after the midnight totals came in here. I was wiped out after all the work I did this week in preparing for the book launch. So I am VERY grateful to Frederique, who was thoughtful enough to grab a few screen captures of my rankings in the early morning hours.

As you can see, we hit #1 AND #2 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list. For some reason Amazon counts the Kindle book and the physical book as two separate titles (I have no idea why), which is why I was able to be at both the top two positions.

Here are a few other stats from the launch:

The highest best-seller ranking we hit was #2 in it’s category. This image is from my iPhone snapped overnight.

2 in kindle marketing


As of this moment, Kill the Elevator Speech is still in the top 10 of all three of it’s categories (numbers 3, 6, and 8).best_selling_3_6_and_8This is only the beginning.

You see, my (very lofty) goal for this book is for it to hit the New York Times Best-Seller List. This internet launch was only phase one. Phase two begins in earnest after Thanksgiving when I start the national media promotion. So if you happen to have any contacts with folks at any of the big business networks, I’ve been interviewed on TV and can certainly handle myself in an interview. Plus, I’m passionate about this message that we should all just stop it with the elevator speech (or elevator pitch) once and for all.

The good news is people are loving the book! It currently has a total of nine reviews, ALL are 5-stars!

9 5-star reviews

In the meantime, there are people to thank. Many thousands of them, actually, but I’ll name just a few here.

First, to those who made me graphics throughout the day to help support the book launch, Joe McCready and Craig Carpenter. Joe handles my Facebook page for me and is always coming up with awesome graphics. Craig, well, he just happened to send me a private message in the middle of the day yesterday, about something totally unrelated, and then a few minutes later surprised me with the awesome quotes.

being helpful is the first step in being memorable
now there is something far better than the elevator speech

Also, a big thanks to Anita Johnson, Paul Taubman, and Ruth Martin, my tireless help desk manager, webmaster, and virtual assistant. If you’ve ever scheduled an appointment with me (or want to have me on your podcast, radio show, or TV segment!), Ruth is the one who makes all that happen (along with making sure I see and eventually respond to emails!). And If you’ve ever had any difficulty with my websites, Anita has been on the case, getting you taken care of, while Paul makes sure things are clean, backed-up, and secure every month.

Speaking of websites – less than 24 hours before the book launch, my main website went down. Ka-put. Within two hours of a phone call to Regina Smola, everything was back up, running good as new. If you ever have any issues with your WordPress website, Regina is someone you WANT to know and have on your team. I am grateful to know her.

And finally, the person who worked until 3 AM the night before (really the morning of!) my book launch, designing everything, making everything work and run beautifully, is Debra Lloyd. She made some of most fun graphics I ever had in my business, as well as doing SO MUCH more. Being British, she had to add the queen’s crown to the keep calm graphic, and she’s also responsible for the graphic at the top of this page and many (MANY) others. I am in deep gratitude for her hard work on this project. You can see more of her work on Facebook, and I will be using all of her graphics as we go along. I don’t think I can ever thank her enough, but it might well include sharing a bottle of wine the next time we’re in the same room!

keep calm and kill the elevator speech500x500-in-case-of-es

And most of all, YOU! For the dozens (possibly hundreds) of people who shared my book on your social media profiles, for the people who gave me quick and early feedback about the launch page, which helped me to make it better, to the private email support, to every person who picked up a copy (and in some cases several copies as gifts!), THANK YOU from the bottom of my very grateful heart.

Now I’m getting offline for the rest of the weekend. I need a break :-).

Networking Tips – Just Because You Have My Business Card Does NOT Mean I Want to Be On Your List

business cards stackThis morning I’m seriously re-considering my use of business cards and happily handing them out when people want to connect with me.

Once again I was added to another mailing list because “at some point our paths have crossed.” I promptly unsubscribed.

Yes, I can use a different email address on my business cards, have a VA check that list, come up with multiple formats of cards with and without email, etc. But why should I have to do all that?! Here’s the key lesson: Just because you have my business card does not mean that I’m even in the market for what you sell.

I once had a sales guy I know pretty well tell me that’s what the point of networking and meeting people is… to get their cards, add them to his list, and then they get to learn more about him. My point? No it’s not. It’s about building relationships and honest connecting.

Here’s a better way: You want me to subscribe to your email marketing list? Send me a personal invitation from you telling me where we met and suggesting why, based on our conversation, I might be interested in what you share via email. Include a link to where I can sign up and let me decide for myself. Otherwise, when you’ve added me to your list simply because we crossed paths, you’ve alienated me before I even get a chance to know you and there’s almost nothing you can do at that point to make me want to connect with you. As author Scott Stratten of UnMarketing commented on my Facebook rant about this very topic today: “People need to have opt-in newsletters, not opt-out.”

Public Speaking – You Could Be Boring If…

Photo Courtesy of Kurt Scholle.

Photo Courtesy of Kurt Scholle.

Do you ever wonder if your audience is as excited about your speech as you are? Or maybe, are you secretly worried that you might be boring your audience to tears?

The first step to get past being boring is to admit you are a bore on stage. But how can you know for sure? Here are a few obvious, and maybe even less-than-obvious signs:
  • Sleepers: Some people have incorporated so much movement and activity into their lives that when they are forced to sit still, like during your speech, no matter how fantastic you are, they literally collapse and fall asleep. That’s more about them than it is about you. But if you have more than one person looking groggy as you speak, you could be boring.
  • Otherwise Engaged: If your audience members are sneaking glances at their phones, zoned out, arms crossed, looking around the room, and not listening to you or your message, you could be boring.
  • You Don’t Ask for, And Don’t Get Any Response: If your entire speech is one-sided and could be delivered the same exact way by video, you’re missing the point of having people there in person. With a live audience, you have the opportunity to ask questions, elicit feedback, even – gasp- ask them to stand up and move a little. If you deliver a monologue and never even ask for so much as an occasional head nod, you could be boring.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this as event season is gearing up again and we’re all bound to be stuck listening to boring speakers. Let’s make sure we’re not part of THAT group!!!
Making sure you’re not boring is just one benefit of having a proven Signature Speech(TM) working for you in your business. I invite you to come to my 1-day only live event, I’m calling Signature Speech(TM) Shazam! That’s on Friday the 13th of September, and I’ll be writing 13 speeches for only 13 participants – and I’m guaranteeing all 13 people will walk away with their speeches DONE that day. Jump on board right away so you secure your spot before it sells out (and it will).
And I promise you one thing: it will be anything BUT boring! In fact, I can promise you’ll laugh, you’ll have fun, and you’ll be productive. Now THAT’S a good day!
So back to being boring… have you ever had to admit you were being boring? What did you do about it? I’d love to know your experience in the comments below.

What I Learned From My TV Appearances in Knoxville

Felicia Slattery Russell Biven Last week my family and I visited my wonderful in-laws in East Tennessee, just south of Knoxville. While I was there I was lucky enough to be a featured in-studio expert.

But luck had nothing to do with it.

For years it had been my dream to get on TV as a featured guest expert. I’d read articles, talked to PR folks, and thought a lot about what I wanted to do and how I might do it.

Whenever I’d see featured guest experts on TV segments, I’d think to myself, “That guy is on there doing it. Why can’t I?”

Here’s why… I wasn’t actually trying to get on TV.

Sure I wanted to get on TV.

I thought about it.

And I did all those things that felt like taking action to get on TV.

But it wasn’t until I took the *real,* meaningful, right actions that included actually writing a segment proposal, planning with my PR coach, Shannon Cherry, figuring out the name of the right person to send the proposal to at each station (no simple task, I tell you!), and picking up the phone to talk to a human being- several of them per station – to get myself scheduled, that things started to really happen for me.

The most interesting part of it all – with all that advance training and preparation, when it came down to rolling up my sleeves and getting booked, it was easy because I knew what to expect, what to say, and what to do once I arrived at the stations. It was easy. Once I took the right actions.

I got booked not just by one station – but by two and appeared two days in a row! That was also pretty cool. I was on tFelicia Slattery Spillyardshe NBC/FOX affiliate and the CBS affiliate. They were both different experiences, too, which I’ll save for another post, but the main lesson I learned was even with all the preparation and ideas, if you don’t take the right actions you never achieve your goals or reach your dreams.

So many people tell me they wish they could be on stage more. It’s their dream to share their message with the world. They take courses and read books, learn on webinars and really think about being on stage. But now, ask yourself, what have you *really* done toward that end?

Do you have your speech ready?

Do you have the description of your speech together, along with the bullets of what your audience will discover?

Have you picked up the phone and spoken to or sent an email to someone who actually plans events and books speakers?

What’s your challenge to getting that together and making it happen for you? Please share in the comments below. I want to help, because I am SO excited to be able to share my TWO videos of the in-station TV interviews from my days on TV and I want YOU to feel just as excited to share your photos and video from your time on stage. Here are my videos now!

And this one:





[Creating Connections] 7 Tips for Face-to-Face Meeting Success


Creating Connections Ezine, ©Felicia J. Slattery // ISSN 1939-8646 // Volume 10 – Issue 5

Inside this Edition:

  • Note from Felicia
  • Speaker’s Spotlight
  • Feature Article
  • Upcoming Events
  • Marketplace


Last week my family enjoyed our spring break in East Tennessee visiting my wonderful in-laws, celebrating my husband’s 40th birthday, and playing at Dollywood, one of our favorite amusement parks in the country. My younger daughter, Miranda, finally is big enough this year to ride on the BIG roller coasters and she was ecstatic! Here we are waiting for our turn on the Tennessee Tornado. We decided to pick up season passes, so we’ll definitely be back for more soon!

Testimonial Gold: Your Next Free Webinar

According to marketing guru Dan Kennedy, one of the most under-used yet highly persuasive tools for any marketer is testimonials. If the reception I received recently at three different  Chicago-area meetings is any indication, smart business owners agree. That’s why I decided to teach Testimonial Gold next week, Wednesday, April 10. Save the date and look for more information coming soon to an inbox near you :-).

Go Big! This Week

I am invited (along with a select group of training specialists) to take part in a cutting edge way of learning called “Micro-Learning” (cool, right?!) It’s named “GO BIG And See The Results In Your Checkbook Video Summit,” a free series just for you.   What I love about the organizer of this event (Sheila Galligan) is she refuses to insult your intelligence with false claims AND she’s dedicated to making sure the content in this event is HIGH content HIGH value stuff.  Here’s how it works: Each speaker will present short bursts of 20-minute videos – I submitted mine, which I recorded all new just for this event. Each video is then followed by a LIVE Q&A session where you can ask the speaker any question you want! So not only are you getting quick bursts of stellar content – but you also
have DIRECT ACCESS to each speaker. Very cool, right? Go Big for free this week only.

Kill The Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting Book
In case you missed it, my next book, which I have been having a fabulous time researching and writing, is one of my hot projects now. In fact, I set a new deadline for myself. I am publicly announcing I plan to have the book finished by April 30 (GULP!). I’m using this section of my ezine to keep myself accountable and finally get the manuscript done and to my publisher. My goal is to get to 40,000 words (good ones, not just a bunch of baloney to up the word count). So each edition, in this spot, I’ll tell you where I am with my current word count. You may not even pay attention to it, but I’ll know. This week’s word count: 23,795. Looks like I have my work cut out for me!

Feature Article: 7 Tips for Face-to-Face Meeting Success
This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Kill the Elevator Speech. In it you’ll see if business professionals even care about in-person meetings anymore with so many technology options and what you can do to boost your chances of being memorable without having to memorize and regurgitate an “elevator speech.” (bleck!)

Enjoy and until next time, happy speaking!




Speaker’s Spotlight: New Book for Experts Who Want to Make Money Blogging

Felicia Slattery Nicole Dean

There are lots of people touting the latest $300 program by a big name marketer based on a whole whopping three months-old blog, which honestly has some good info, but Nicole Dean has been blogging for years and making money at it all that time. In fact, she’s got 26 experts, myself included, who all profit from our blogs and we’re sharing exactly how we do it in Nicole Dean’s new book. Everything you ever wanted to know about blogging – all in one easy-to-read book. Business development? Yes, please!
And if you pick it up before April 5, you’ll get some awesome bonuses, too. Woo-hoo!! Grab Blogging for Profit and the bonuses here today.

Feature Article: 7 Tips for Face-to-Face Meeting Success

Felicia Slattery and Zig ZiglarBefore the advent of the Internet as we know it today, with all its myriad ways to communicate, leaving the house was truly the only way to meet new people, unless you had a dinner party at your own home and a guest you invited brought a “plus one.”

Now, wherever you like to hang out online, you can meet new people, easily and effortlessly. There’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Quora, just to name a few sites where people interact with each other, often in meaningful ways, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Before the current crop of social websites, there was Ryze and Yahoo Groups, and various forums for every interest under the sun. Before those, there were Usenet conversation groups, which often centered around those with some technical savvy.

However, even with the earliest options to communicate and meet people electronically, that only takes us back to 1980. For me and probably you too, that’s well within our lifetime. In a short period of time technological communications have come a long way, and of course since the mid-2000s, you could even carry all these ways with you in your pocket or purse.

So why even bother to leave the house today when you can instantly and easily connect with a world full of people all interested in the same topics you are? Many of whom are possible profitable business connections? You can be so much more productive online and even using the phone. There really isn’t a reason to get out of the house at all. Or is there…

According to a 2009 Forbes Insights survey of more than 750 business executives, eight out of ten said they prefer in-person, face-to-face meetings to technology-enabled ones. Those executives surveyed that prefer face-to-face meetings explained their preference by citing how in-person meetings build stronger, more meaningful relationships (85%), the ability to “read” another person, (77%), and greater social interaction (75%). Respondents said face-to-face meetings are best for persuasion, leadership, engagement, accountability, and decision-making.

Further, when meeting new people online, you can never be sure who is at the other end of that electronic communication. The mass media is ripe with stories of scam artists taking advantage of everyone from lonely-hearts women and even famous college football player Manti Te’o who fell for an Internet rouse of a faked girlfriend who had a fake death to business scams and scammers in my own professional speaking industry (I wrote an in-depth account of one of the more obnoxious ones on my blog in the summer of 2012.

Yet at a face-to-face event, no Nigerian scammer could ever pretend to be a lottery official in the UK, or try to hire you for a fake speaking gig at a real (and unsuspecting) church asking for several thousand dollars for a “work permit” so you can speak there.

When you do go to a meeting, then, and you decide to enter the brave new world where you don’t need an “elevator speech” to connect with new people, how can you create a connection with a stranger? Here are some strategies:

  1. Be detached from any possible outcome. When you attend a meeting, be open to the possibilities of what might unfold at the meeting and the people who will meet. It’s so much more fun to attend a meeting when you look at it as a way to experience other people.
  2. Smile, make eye contact and pay attention to your nonverbal messages. Nonverbal communication is the primary information people draw upon when they make their first impressions of you. Keep in mind the basics and you’ll be well on your way to creating a positive and memorable connection.
  3. Focus on the person. In the spring of 2010, I had the honor to meet and share the stage with the amazing, late, great Zig Ziglar. I like to say he opened for me because he spoke just before I did in the line-up! Before we were both on stage, however, I had the opportunity to sit with Zig and speak to him for a few minutes. It wasn’t long until many people in the room realized he’d arrived and they began lining up behind me to have their chance to speak with him. Zig didn’t pay any attention to them. He was focused 100% on me, asking me questions, and sharing with me some of his much-loved Zig-wisdom. Zig Ziglar was legendary for his ability to shut out all distractions around him and focus on the person he was speaking to. Every person who had the joy of experiencing such uninterrupted attention felt how special it was. You can make others feel special too, just by giving them your full attention and not looking around the room, at your watch, or (gasp!) looking at your smart phone.
  4. Have an agenda. When you go to any meeting, think about why you are choosing to spend your valuable time doing that than any of the other 57 things you could be doing instead. Your agenda should *NOT* be to make sales or identify prospects, but rather to find a plumber for your neighbor who complained his sink got stopped up for the third time this year, or something else related to connecting with people, not finding prospects.
  5. Do not have ulterior motives. When you meet people and offer something of value to them, do so willingly and freely with no strings attached.
  6. Do not expect anything from anyone. The world doesn’t owe you a thing and neither does anyone you meet.
  7. Be more interested than interesting. This of course is tried and true advice, but important enough to mention here. You already know all about you. Seek to learn more about another person and be willing to dig a little deeper. Later in the book I’ll share with you a few questions to help you learn more about someone else and get a conversation started.


Upcoming Events:

April 5, 2013: Go Big Video Summit, free live series, open to the public.

April 10, 2013: Testimonial Gold, free webinar, open to the public. More details coming soon.

May 7 & 9, 2013: Sponsorship for Speakers with Shannon Cherry. Intensive 2-Day Course. More details coming soon.

March-May, 2013:  The Get Healthy Summit. Featured Speaker. Virtual training open to the public.

September 11, 2013: Chicagoland Holistic Chamber of Commerce, Featured Speaker: Credibility and Cash Flow.



If you’re ready to use speaking to market your business, you can be up and speaking in 6 short weeks. Discover how at

Build a Beautiful Online Presence – with a Point & Click WordPress Plugin!
I just picked up a very cool plug-in called Instabuilder that works with WordPress and is point-and-click simple. Instabuilder has everything you could need and I was excited at just how affordable it really is (less than $50!). You can quickly build:

  • Squeeze pages
  • Sales pages
  • Facebook and social media-ready pages
  • Split testing
  • Countdown timer (gets people motivated to take action!)
  • Simple WYSIWYG visual editor
  • And tons more…

Go see this easy-to-use plug-in and make your life easier so you can focus on getting your message out there instead of trying to figure out all the confusing tech stuff. Instanbuilder can be your secret to a beautiful online presence!

[Creating Connections] Top 5 Reasons Why the Elevator Speech Stinks!


Creating Connections Ezine, ©Felicia J. Slattery // ISSN 1939-8646 // Volume 10 – Issue 3

Inside this Edition:

  • Note from Felicia
  • Speakers Spotlight
  • Feature Article
  • Upcoming Events
  • Marketplace


Personal Note

snow kids 2013Hello Again Dear Reader!

Yesterday in the Chicago area Mother Nature dumped about 8″ of snow on us, leading to one of the best possible things that can happen to a kid: SNOW DAY! All the schools in our area were closed, which meant my girls could sleep in (ha – as if!), read their library books, build a fort in their rooms, and play outside in the snow with the neighbors. Such fun! As for me, I got my cardio workout in shoveling the driveway and sidewalk with my hubby, Brent, who came home early from work to avoid traffic and beat at least some of the snow. In all we ended up shoveling THREE times!!

Adela Lost Everything She Owned in a Fire
Earlier this week, I sent a message to my subscribers about my friend and VIP client Adela Rubio, who one evening last month was on the phone when she suddenly heard her mother screaming, (Adela takes care of her aging parents in the home they shared together), “There’s smoke coming through the floor!” In less than an hour their home was burned to the ground, along with all of Adela’s work except what she could salvage from one small laptop computer. Some of our colleagues have come together to support her in getting her and her family back on their feet by offering 19 products – each worth more then $100 – for one excellent low price. Go now to see those products and help out someone in need.

Time to Get Healthy!
As you can imagine, when I was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, my health became my #1 priority until it was cured and I was completely healed (woo-hoo!). Now that I’m happily on the other side and healthy again, folks are interested in the changes I’ve been making with regard to my fitness and healthy eating. I’ve been invited to be a featured presenter in the Get Healthy Summit. This unique interview series began this week and will feature 25 of the most interesting natural health practitioners including green smoothie advocates, raw foodies, fitness trainers, detox coaches, and more. Register here so you don’t miss a single interview.

Kill The Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting Book
Thank you for your well-wishes and warm response to this section in my most recent past edition. I had no idea if anyone would even read it! In case you missed it, my next book, which I have been having a fabulous time researching and writing, is one of my hot projects now. I’m at the point where I need to keep myself accountable and finally get the manuscript done and to my publisher. My goal is to get to 40,000 words (good ones, not just a bunch of baloney to up the word count). So each edition, in this spot, I’ll tell you where I am with my current word count. You may not even pay attention to it, but I’ll know. This week’s word count: 21,177 (yay – that 20K is a big milestone!).

Feature Article: Top 5 Reasons Why the Elevator Speech Should Be Killed!
I know, that’s some strong language, but sometimes a metaphorical  “crime of passion” is the only way to be ruthless with your time and business so you can truly connect with people, while also serving them and make some great money in the process. Today’s article is a portion of my book and explains in brief detail what the problem is with the whole “elevator speech” thing anyway. You may or may not agree, but this is a fresh new article and I’d love your input. Maybe you might even get a spot in the book (hey, I could use the words and even more insight!).

Enjoy and until next time, happy speaking!



Speakers Spotlight: Smokin’ Hot List-Building Video Series

Speaker Spotlight

Photo Credit: Nighthawk101Stock

How to Finally Have More Fun and Make More Money in Your Business!

Isn’t it time to finally be making the big impact you KNOW you should be making in the world? Imagine being able to enjoy a never-ending stream of clients and sales. Imagine being able to say goodbye to the feast or famine cycle in your business forever. If you’ve been struggling getting clients one-on-one and you’re exhausted or you just know there has to be a better way… There is and you can discover how to be able to reach tens of thousands of your perfect prospects within seconds with this brand, new video series from the List Building Queen, Signature Speech (TM) graduate and wildly successful Maritza Parra. Register as my guest and enjoy these content-rich, fun videos and discover the better way.

If you’re not familiar with her, Maritza Parra is a sought-after list building expert and has spoken on Dan Kennedy’s stage twice, among other big stages. She’s had clients like Matt Damon, Billy Bob Thornton, Penelope Cruz and Mark Victor Hansen. She’s even been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey herself!

Not only that, but her clients have been seeing amazing success, with more prospects, profits and visibility – they’ve been featured on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Town & Country and Cosmopolitan magazine to name a few (all while building profitable businesses they love!). If that sounds like someone you want to learn from, too, well, I knew you were a smart cookie! Go see what this cool video series is all about right here.


Feature Article: Top 5 Reasons Why the Elevator Speech Stinks!

Do THESE guys want to hear your "elevator speech?" Probably not.

Do THESE guys want to hear your “elevator speech?” Probably not.

Last year, after I had major surgery, part of my 3-month recovery included a significant amount of physical therapy. The location I chose was close to my home, which made going 3-4 times per week for hours at a time very convenient. The atmosphere of this particular physical therapy location was unlike how I’d imagined it’d be based on the couple of times I had taken loved ones in the past to physical therapy appointments.

It was set up like a small gym or personal training studio next to an area with about 8 tables for the therapists to work on individual patients. Because so many of us were there, literally for 2 or more hours at a time – some were there for 5 hours at a time! – I started to see many of the same faces over and over again.

I quickly noticed part of the culture of that particular physical therapy location was for the multiple therapists on duty at the time, along with the “regular” patients, of whom I quickly became one, to banter back and forth, talk about sports (a big thing when you live in the Chicago area and one of the guys in therapy is a professional athlete), and laugh at ourselves and our circumstances. Think of it as laughing through the pain.

Of course part of the conversation and small talk was around meeting each other, shaking hands, and introducing ourselves. Inevitably someone would ask, “So what do you do for a living?”

If I wasn’t already against using an elevator speech, I might have had a problem. Many of the folks in physical therapy were heavy laborers of some kind: truck drivers, brick layers, etc. There was a nurse, that professional athlete I mentioned, all of those folks injured on the job. Then there were a couple of people like me who weren’t injured on the job, but had surgery or some other injury we were recovering from.

Just imagine the look on a big truck driver’s face after he asked me, “What do you do?” had I given him an “elevator speech” answer. I would have been laughed right out of the place! Or worse, he would have been confused or weirded out and probably just walked away.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. That you have to be “strategic” when deciding if you’re going to use your “elevator speech.” And that obviously, that wasn’t the place. It wasn’t a networking meeting. No one goes to physical therapy with the express purpose of meeting other people. But that’s one of the problems with why the elevator speech stinks on so many levels. Here you go:

  1. Many People Don’t Know How to Turn It Off
    You’ve probably met people at a wedding, for example, or another non-professional occasion, who, when introduced to them, the topic of what they do for a living comes up and they blurt out their elevator speech all proud of themselves. Then suddenly, the conversation STOPS. It’s awkward. Did you just try to sell me something? No? What the heck was all THAT about? You were just making polite conversation, but that person had no filter on an appropriate time to talk using “work language” and when to turn it off and just give it a rest. Now you may feel like you need a shower.
  2. The Elevator Speech Is Not Audience Specific
    When you write any speech, step 1 always has to be to answer the question, “who is my audience?” Theoretically speaking, if an elevator speech was a good idea, you’d have to prepare it for a specific segment or type of person. Except ANYONE at ANY TIME could ask you what you do for a living. So then in that moment, you’re faced with a choice: to use the elevator speech or not. If you go with what you’ve got and the person you’re speaking to in no way resembles the person you wrote the speech for, you get that awkward moment from above. If you write a speech that is “general” to “everyone” – well, that’s marketing suicide. So what do you do? Skip the speech, that’s what.
  3. The Elevator Speech Is Not Conducive to Actual Human Conversation
    If the purpose of the elevator speech is to have an answer prepared when someone asks you what you do for a living, and then you answer a single person asking a question in friendly conversation with a “speech,” you’re completely missing the mark. A conversation is a two-way communication event, not a one-way monologue or presentation, like a public speech. Having a conversation does not entail pre-planning your statements or delivering a forced, rehearsed diatribe. Conversations are spontaneous and, well, conversational.
  4. People Don’t Remember Your Elevator Speech (or Even the Highlights)
    Most people are hard-pressed to remember what THEY just said five minutes ago, let alone what YOU said. Exactly how much do people remember about you? After a brief introduction, they’ll remember about 1-3 words’ worth of detail such as, “she’s a speaker,” or “he’s a writer.” Maybe once they get to know you in conversation they’re remember more specific words like “leadership speaker” or “writer of marketing books.” Give people those words you want to be remembered by or they’ll come up with their own from your whole, long, spiel that doesn’t matter to them at all.
  5. Elevator Speeches Simply Don’t “Work”
    There have been very few studies about elevator speeches or pitches, but those that do exist all prove one thing: it’s a lot of time spend stressing over a “speech” for exactly zero return. According to Peter J. Denning and Nicolas Dew, in an article published in the June 2012 edition of Communications of the ACM Journal, (that’s Association for Computing Machinery – see? there’s not a lot of empirical research out there),

    “The data does not support the conventional wisdom that the elevator pitch is a key to success with innovations. The convention is a myth.”

And finally, although I only promised you 5 reasons why we should kill the elevator speech, here’s a bonus reason:

Most folks don’t like being on the receiving end and most don’t like having to give them. Therefore, if we don’t like ’em, let’s do away with the elevator speech. Who’s with me?


Upcoming Events:

March 7 & 8, 2013: Signature Speech for Authors. Intensive Virtual All-Day Workshop.

March 18, 2013: Chicagoland’s Sharpest Entrepreneurs, Featured Speaker: Testimonial Gold: How to Give an Excellent, Impressive, and Useful Testimonials. Register Here for SSS Marketing University to get tickets.

April 9 & 11, 2013: Sponsorship for Speakers with Shannon Cherry. Mini Course. More details coming soon.

Macrh-May, 2013:  The Get Healthy Summit. Featured Speaker. Virtual training open to the public.

September 11, 2013: Chicagoland Holistic Chamber of Commerce, Featured Speaker: Credibility and Cash Flow.



If you’re ready to use speaking to market your business, you can be up and speaking in 6 short weeks. Discover how at

Build a Beautiful Online Presence – with a Point & Click WordPress Plugin!
I just picked up a very cool plug-in called Instabuilder that works with WordPress and is point-and-click simple. Instabuilder has everything you could need and I was excited at just how affordable it really is (less than $50!). You can quickly build:

  • Squeeze pages
  • Sales pages
  • Facebook and social media-ready pages
  • Split testing
  • Countdown timer (gets people motivated to take action!)
  • Simple WYSIWYG visual editor
  • And tons more…

Go see this easy-to-use plug-in and make your life easier so you can focus on getting your message out there instead of trying to figure out all the confusing tech stuff. Instanbuilder can be your secret to a beautiful online presence!


Redeeming Myself After a Year

felicia slattery speaker

Just before taking the stage in my costume. (The hat and raincoat came off after my attention-getter!)

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post confessing about how I had a really off day while keynoting at an event. Lots of kind people came to my defense and many audience members who had never seen me speak before did not even notice it. However I can count on my good friends to be honest (painfully so, sometimes!), and they agreed it wasn’t my best performance.

Well, last Saturday on the same Atlanta stage at David Perdew’s Niche Affiliate Marketing System 8 (NAMS) Event, I redeemed myself!

Last year I listed the things I did wrong and what I could do to improve.

I thought this year I’d share what I remembered to do right so my performance could be greatly improved — even with another brand new speech!

  1. Planned Ahead: I knew for at least 6 months I’d be back on the NAMS stage. I also knew the reason I was going was to give myself the deadline to write my new keynote speech, Kill the Elevator Speech. I didn’t wait to work on the speech.
  2. Got Help: Even the best performers need help sometimes, just like the top Olympic athletes need their coaches. I realize that and I reached out to my smart and creative colleagues and friends to help me come up with some ideas about how to present my speech, props I could use, how to start and more. Big thanks especially to my weekly accountability partner, Shannon Cherry who gave me the idea to use the Dragnet Theme — I used it as my attention getter. Also big thanks to my buddy coach, Kamin Bell Samuel, who worked through my entire plan with me and helped me figure out what my “deputy” buttons were going to say (they turned out great, BTW!).
  3. Had Personal Motivation: I told you this was a new speech. I knew I needed a deadline that was set in stone, what Paul Evans called during his speech an “immoveable deadline” to get the speech done. My new book, Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting is coming out soon – and this speech motivated me to finish the book, too! In addition, I knew I’d need new marketing materials to promote the upcoming book and keynote speech and that my dear friend and gifted photographer, Tony Laidig would be there willing to record my entire presentation. If the speech sucked, so would my marketing materials and I couldn’t have THAT!
  4. Went Against the Grain and Stuck to My Guns: Yet again all the other daily opening and closing keynote speakers used PowerPoint presentations. If you’ll recall, last year I felt the pressure to conform and so slapped a PPT together at the last minute. This year,  even though I had a brand new speech and honestly could have used a PPT to remind me of what I wanted to say next, I chose to skip it altogether in favor of using props to add a visual element to my speech. As a result, I got to be creative and many audience members commented specifically on the props I used and how much they enjoyed them.
  5. Practiced: I’ll admit, I did not practice as much as I would normally recommend to my clients, but I did practice important bits of my speech so I’d know how they would sound and feel when I delivered them for reals.  I also had a captive audience in my publisher, friend and roomie for the event, Kristen Eckstein who graciously listened to me practice at 1 AM after being out dancing and singing karaoke. (Oh, I don’t actually recommend you go out and party all night when you have an 8:30 AM speech, but I knew I was prepared and I couldn’t resist spending that quality fun time with my good friends! Plus I drank only water and only sang one group song so my voice wouldn’t be shot and I wouldn’t wake up with a screaming headache!)
  6. Visualized: I knew the layout of the room and I worked on seeing myself walking in, on the stage and knocking it out of the park.
  7. Prayed: This is how I center myself moments before I go on stage. Whatever you can do to calm down and get grounded, do it: breathe, meditate for a moment, get quiet and get focused.
  8. Worked From a Full Word-for-Word Script: I know this may come as a surprise because when I teach my Signature Speech (TM) students to prepare their speeches, I recommend using only an outline rather than writing the speech out verbatim. However, there are a number of things different about this. First a keynote, which is a product in an of itself, is drastically different than a Signature Speech (TM), which is marketing tool. Also, to start I’ll be charging $15,000 per speech for my keynote, which I will deliver again and again, likely for years to come. Having a script will allow me to tweak it over time. This speech had props, jokes, and stories I wanted to get right. I put all the stage direction into the script so I would remember my plan. Finally, I printed my script and actually used it as a prop during the speech, so it worked well for a first time (and by the time I deliver it again it will be fully memorized 🙂 ).

So, that’s what all came together to make this year’s speech go very well. I feel like I can hold my head high with pride now with the NAMS community.

Oh- and if you want to hear my speech, you can access it and all the NAMS8 recordings right here.

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