The world is opening back up bit by bit, including sporting events, family gatherings and even in-person networking events, and as it does, there's a particular “muscle” we're going to have to start flexing once again: honing our elevator pitch.
Whether you've appreciated the year-long reprieve or are itching to start again, the elevator pitch is a dance that everyone seems to struggle with: how to be clear enough so people get what you do, but concise enough that you don't drown them in unnecessary details while their eyes glaze over.
The secret is to lead with a simple statement that gives JUUUUST enough information to pique their interest and get them to say those three little words you want to hear. No, it's not “I love you.” The music to your ears should be “Tell me more.”
Think of those first 30 seconds as an “amuse bouche” to the conversation. In fine dining, the chef will often send a tiny, complimentary appetizer to the table; the patrons don't order it from a menu, and it's just enough to wake up your palate and whet your appetite… i.e. to “amuse your mouth.” In the same way, your opening elevator pitch “whets someone's appetite” for more information about you, and open the door to the conversation.
If this has whet YOUR appetite for more on how to nail the elevator pitch, check out this week's Speaking to Influence podcast episode.
Speaking of things that “amuse,” with the gorgeous weather over the weekend, I took the opportunity to wash my car with my four-year-old son's “help”. He had more fun playing with the suds in the bucket and running through the stream from the hose than actually washing the car, but we eventually got it done!
Parents and grandparents can light a spark in a child that lasts a lifetime. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Annette Comer on her World's Greatest Women podcast and sharing the story of how my own grandmother unknowingly started me on what would become my life's work of helping people talk to each other when I was around five years old.
In being mindful of how blessed I am to spend time with both my sons AND my now-95-year-old grandmother, I am also aware of how many people are looking for that connection with a child to call their own, and how many children long for that connection with parents or parental caregivers.
This is particularly relevant now as today is National Foster Care Day, which is dedicated to all children in the foster care system. I want to take a moment to acknowledge not just the children, but all foster parents, family members, volunteers, policymakers, child welfare workers and everyone in the community who helps children and the youth in foster care to feel safe and loved until they can find their forever homes.
If you or someone you know is interested in exploring the various ways in which you can get involved, check out this link for more information.
Of course, whether you're getting ready to have a heart-to-heart with one of your kids, or to give your elevator pitch, once you figure out what to say, then you have to deliver it! So I'm curious — what do you think matters more: WHAT you say, or HOW you say it?
We know the old adage that “It's not what you say but how you say it that counts,” but this 2-minute video explains why that's a myth.
Note – this video is also a great example of how I had to experiment to find a good location and background for video a year or two ago, and you should also hear a difference in the sound quality between this video and the (comparatively newer) podcast. Is the content still 100% relevant? Absolutely. But does it influence how you value the experience and prejudge the content? I'll bet it does. (Now is a good time for a little “note to self”…)
Of course, if you're ready to get your own video presence up to a quality that truly reflects the quality of your professional expertise, you can always check out my online Virtual Influence program.
Ultimately, whether you're working on your elevator pitch, setting up your virtual office space, or contemplating whether and how to explore foster care or adoption, there's one key rule to remember: PERFECTION ISN'T NECESSARY.
It's about letting people see and hear where your heart is, and as long as they know that your intention is good, and you're constantly learning from your mistakes and working on getting better with each encounter, that speaks volumes above all else!
Here's to your success,
P.S. You can also catch the video version of our podcast episodes on YouTube. Here's the link to my podcast on Mastering Your Elevator Pitch. Don't forget to like, subscribe and share it with someone you know who might need to hear it.