I do not have a good elevator speech. I know I don’t.
According to elevatorspeech.com, “Executives who can’t clearly explain what they do and why anyone should care in the first 30 seconds miss out — on sales, on funding, on alliances … on business.”
And businessweek says, “One of the most important things a businessperson can do—especially an owner or someone who is involved in sales—is learn how to speak about their business to others. Being able to sum up unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others should be a fundamental skill. Yet many executives pay little attention to the continuing development of “the elevator pitch”—the quick, succinct summation of what your company makes or does.
That’s too bad, because the elevator pitch—so named because it should last no longer than the average elevator ride—is far too important to take casually. It’s one of the most effective methods available to reach new buyers and clients with a winning message. True, you may not actually be doing the pitching in an elevator, but even if your meeting is a planned, sit-down event, you should still be prepared to capture your audience’s attention quickly.”
I am not an executive, a lawyer, or a CEO. I am starting my second year of graduate school… and my elevator speech is terrible. I stumble around awkwardly to somewhat come close to almost explaining what I do in under five minutes… but only about half the people seem to fully understand what I do. How am I supposed to summarize my research and goals in 60 seconds or less? My wife does a better job of summarizing my research and goals than I do.
I am an introvert. My wife is an extrovert. But still… this is my research. I should be able to spit out something amazing in 60 seconds or less. But how do I actually do that? When I was in the Philippines doing my research, or when I am in Ohio visiting family and friends, people ask me what I do… and I stumble through it.
But I hate stumbling. It makes me look stupid and/or incompetent. I want to be able to summarize my research and goals in 60 seconds or less.
Some Key Points:
- I research poverty on a global scale (currently focusing on the Philippines)
- I research healthcare and also education as it relates to poverty
- I want to become a college professor
- I want to earn a certificate in nonprofit management to help nonprofit organizations
- I want to make policy recommendations on the city, state, national and international levels to help with issues on poverty
How do I convey these key points in a way that makes people care? I don’t get it because to me it already sounds really important.
I am not selling a car, or an iPhone, or tickets to the Super Bowl. I’m discussing my research on global poverty and trying to get people to care. How do I put a sexy red dress on poverty so that people pay attention?