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Networking 101 – Prepare your Elevator Speech

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Dr. Renate Volpe, in her nugget cards entitled “Networking Tips” says:

“Prepare you elevator speech.  Who are you?  Where do you work?  What benefit is what you do to the person you are speaking with?”

There seems to a great deal of confusion as to what information should be included in an elevator pitch.  Before I go into more detail about what it is, let me just be clear about exactly what it isn’t.

It is NOT an opportunity for you to tell your life story, explain in minute detail how you got to the point in your life where you currently are.  It is not about your hopes, your dreams and your aspirations.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest – what it is, is a short one to two liner exactly as Renate lists it.

What is your name?
Who do you work for?
What do you do?
What is the benefit of your product and/or service?

It really is that simple – any more and your elevator speech becomes a lecture – any less and in all probability, no one will understand what it is that you are trying to get across.

Here’s the thing though – you really have to have something that sets you apart from the rest and you really have to practice it so that when you deliver it in front of a huge crowd of people, you sound like you know what you are talking about.

Imagine if you will, a room full of people and there are 5 bookkeepers.   What makes each one unique and believe me they are?  It might be that one specializes in tax or one deals mainly with payroll issues or one helps people to manage their own books.  Whatever sets you apart from the rest is “what is key” to your elevator pitch.  Whether it is something that is unique to your product and/or service or you or whether you make a statement that gets people thinking or makes them want to know more about you and what it is that you do – it’s about what makes you different.

Remember to keep it short – no more than 30 seconds or so.  Also, remember to keep it real – your integrity and credibility should never be in question or be brought into disrepute.

Now – where is that mirror to practice in front of?

For more information on Renate, please visit her website at