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

Creating_Connections_Masthead

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 AdelaRubio.com 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.

————————————————————————

Marketplace

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

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!

 

About the Author:

3 Comments

  1. Karen Knott March 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I agree with you wholeheartedly Felicia! (I wrote a similar piece on my blog recently: http://primetimebusiness.co.uk/blog/2013/02/27/so-what-do-you-do/ )

    I remember trying to create an elevator speech back in the day when we were all advised that it was the thing we ‘should’ do but it made me squirm so much that I could never quite bring myself to actually use it!

  2. Felicia Slattery March 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you for your comments Karen. I’ve had a look at your blog post and it is very well done. You provide a simple and easy-to-remember solution. As a speaking and communication coach people have asked me for years to help them write their elevator speeches. And your reaction about making your “squirm” was why I never agreed. Most of us squirm because we know that isn’t the way most people normally speak. In fact, I love how you put it on your blog. The elevator speech or pitch is indeed “impossible to do AND still sound like a real human being rather than an over-rehearsed automaton!”

  3. Aline Munsch March 8, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Big relief, reading this! I am going to a networking event tomorrow and don’t have one ready! I agree with you, it creates a breeze of cold air and people want to leave you, since there is an expectation of a comment or a reaction, which will most of the time be polite and artificial. So I will just be myself tomorrow, and I am getting better every day at getting out of my own way and letting my being connect…

    And thanks for the tip about Instanbuilder plugin, I need to redesign my website and connect all those goodies! I will look into it.

Leave A Comment