What is an Elevator Speech?
An elevator speech is a short introduction. It is the first step in starting a conversation in a business networking setting.
The key is to deliver it like casual small talk in an elevator – although that is not the place you are likely to use it. It is a concise description of who you are, what you do, and what your skill or service does for others. It does not include details, numbers or accomplishments (may include alma mater if relevant to the situation). Your elevator speech is an introduction that demonstrates your professionalism and a bit of personality.
Why have an Elevator Speech?
1. Introduce yourself in memorable way
2. Emphasize the benefits you provide or solutions you offer
3. Get others to ask you questions and engage in two way conversations
4. Set yourself apart from the crowd. Be memorable.
When do you use an Elevator Speech?
It usually comes in handy when you attend an event, a conference, a convention, or some other type of meeting with networking opportunities. It also works at the kids’ school, soccer match or even on an airplane.
One of the first questions people ask is, “And, what do you do?” And you could say, “Oh, I’m a lawyer … or an accountant … or a consultant …” It doesn’t matter because they will often say, “Oh, that’s nice,” and immediately label you in their mind with all of the stereotypes they perceive those occupations to carry with them.
Or, if you are prepared, when people ask you what you do you can simply tell them more yet without too many more words. Elevator speeches should be constructed so that listeners immediately understand how or if you can help them. The best elevator speeches intrigue the listener enough to ask more questions.
The most important part of your elevator speech is the response you get. Listen to what your listener says and observe how they react. Are they confused or do they smile and engage you in conversation based on it?
Practice makes perfect…or at least easier. Make it such a part of you that if someone woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you what you do, you would smoothly and without hesitation tell them your “elevator speech.” At first, your elevator speech may not seem smooth and natural, but the more you give it, the better it will become.
You will need to have several versions of your elevator speech. You have probably been at a family cookout and tried to explain that while yes, you are a lawyer, you are not like Jack McCoy from Law and Order. The version can be less detailed or more detailed depending on the audience. For example if you are talking to a group of lawyers it isn’t necessary to define litigation. However, if you are talking to a group of engineers they may not know exactly what it means to be a “litigator.”
The elevator speech has a few necessary components:
- What you do . . . “lawyer” – although it may not be necessary to say the word “lawyer”
- Firm name…”your firm”
- For… “type of client”
- How you help them…”type of law”
So, Joe, what do you do?
“You might say I’m in the dispute business. I’m lawyer in the litigation group at Jones, Jones & Jones. I help business owners, like yourself, work through contract disputes with suppliers and such. While I always try to solve the dispute early on, sometimes a case goes to trial. It’s stressful work, but I love what I do.”
“I’m with Jones, Jones & Jones’ Intellectual Property practice – I spend most of my time working with engineering companies helping them protect their ideas.”
“I’m with Jones, Jones & Jones’ intellectual property practice – I work with manufacturers and distributors helping them protect their trademarks. I also work with legal and business issues involving international franchises.”
“I’m a corporate attorney over at Jones, Jones & Jones; I help businesses – mostly family owned – on the legal aspects of real estate purchases, contracts, and operational structures.”
“Have you been following the headlines in the Herald News? Insurance companies are over their head in fraudulent claims related to the real estate downturn. Developers are hanging on by their knuckles and I’m the safety net. I’m a litigation partner in the Jones law firm.”
“I’m over at Jones, Jones & Jones, downtown near the new arena. I focus on estate planning – several of my clients also own a business so I have a lot of experience in designing succession plans to transition the business from one generation to the next.”
The Firm’s Elevator Speech
Jones, Jones & Jones is best known for representing public and private companies in bet-the-company deals or disputes. Our Florida practice includes corporate, real property, litigation, labor, and government law. We also have lawyers experienced in specialty areas such as intellectual property, environmental issues, and family law in our offices in NY and Los Angeles.
Jones, Jones & Jones is a business law firm in Florida best known for representing some of the state’s largest companies. Primarily we practice in the areas of corporate contracts, real property, employment, and government law.
In a formal document leading with business services…
Jones, Jones & Jones advises enterprises of all sizes, both for-profit and non-profit, in working through complex issues and obstacles related to corporate governance and compliance, protection of intellectual property, insurance, contract negotiation and drafting, litigation and more. We assist corporate boards and other governing groups in the satisfaction and documentation of their ethical, fiduciary, and oversight obligations including best practices under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
We advise on structural matters, reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, and dissolutions, primarily in the State of Florida, for local and multi-jurisdictional entities. Our general corporate experience focuses on the laws and regulations specific to the State of Florida governing non-profit and for profit corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, but also encompasses the corporate and business laws of Delaware and other jurisdictions including off-shore and international.
We approach issues comprehensively and we are fully equipped to address related areas such as real estate, tax, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor, and government services.
My elevator speech:
I love what I do. I’m a natural born entrepreneur. I love bringing those sensibilities to the business of law. The conversational Web is the new opportunity and it’s my job to help my clients get there. I’m a digital media strategist and a legal marketing specialist. My company is LawGravity.com.
Write your elevator speech here.
Jayne Navarre firstname.lastname@example.org 786-208-9108