Whether it’s a networking event or a coffee meeting with an old acquaintance, being prepared to talk about yourself in professional and casual settings will always be important. While you may have a general elevator speech you use in most settings, chances are your speech could use a little sprucing up! As your career evolves and your skill set expands, it’s beneficial to revisit your elevator speech from time to time, and work on how you can better project yourself to others.
As you grow professionally, check out these tips for improving your elevator speech:
Think “less talk, more action.”
While it’s tempting to talk about your various skills and abilities, it’s much more effective to explain how you use your abilities within your industry. Referring to your responsibilities at your current or former job and explaining how you exhibit leadership among your teammates tends to be much more impressive than a long list of adjectives. When introducing yourself to others, think about how you can provide some actionable context around your abilities. How have you put your skills into action? How do you apply your talents in solving challenges in the workplace? Thinking along these lines will help you not only tell others about yourself, but show them what you can do.
Highlight leadership strengths.
While it’s one easily of the most sought-after characteristics in candidates, leadership is often the least commonly found characteristic in professionals today. Emphasizing your leadership strengths will make you more memorable in the eyes of others, showing you have the confidence and skills to take control of projects and lead teams in a positive and productive way. Incorporating adverbs like “facilitated,” “orchestrated” and “oversaw” in your elevator speech will be impactful in conveying you as a powerful industry leader in your field.
Practice your speech.
While you may have your elevator speech fully rehearsed in your head, it’s best to practice saying your speech out loud. Share your speech with a friend or family member and ask them for honest feedback. For example, did you speak too fast? Did you use confusing industry jargon? Did you fail to clearly articulate your role at work? Having an objective person listen to your speech will allow you to better identify how you can improve and make it more effective.
A stale elevator speech can be detrimental to your career growth, especially as you seek new jobs. Taking the time to work on your elevator speech using the tips above will set you up for successful employment opportunities, as well as help you make better connections with colleagues and employers in your industry.
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