Creating Engagement with an #epitch

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There are four great conversation starters for your elevator pitch – four ways to create engagement with your story. How do you do it? By focusing on your audience.

At an initial meeting with a coaching client, she told me I had come very highly recommended and she was curious to know more. (Of course I was flattered 🙂 but then… uh-oh, the pressure was on!  I had to live up to whatever she had heard.  Gulp!)

“So, tell me a little bit about yourself”, she said.

WOW! That’s an easy one! I got this!

I quickly shot back,
“Well, I’m the national elevator pitch champion.”
She said, “That’s fantastic!” And then,

“What’s an elevator pitch?”

My first thought was: Ooooh, I can definitely help you!
But first, I had to help myself!

I had made a CLASSIC Elevator Pitch blunder. I had failed to frame the conversation, and I blurted out an answer without any context.

Has this ever happened to you: you get wrapped up in the inner monologue in your head, fueled by your own publicity (or lack thereof) and you find yourself telling a story that relates to no one but yourself?

The antidote to blurting, and ego-centric conversation, is to focus on your listener. Set the stage for what’s about to come out of your mouth, with one of these four framing statements:
Chris Westfall Elevator Pitch Seminar Slide
Here’s a quick video example of creating an elevator pitch on the fly, from a recent workshop seminar. Note how the framing is crucial, and how you can sense the agreement from the audience:

Luckily, my client forgave my elevator speech snafu, and we were able to develop a great working relationship. But don’t stall your elevator on the first floor – get off to a strong start by using one of the four framing statements, and connect to your listener before you go off on your own inner monologue.

What do you do, to make sure you stay focused on your listener?  And, how do you keep your conversation relevant in your elevator speech?

Want to Know More About Creating Powerful Conversations?

The NEW Elevator Pitch by Chris WestfallReserve your copy today – The NEW Elevator Pitch will be released on May 7, 2012!  Find out how to create an authentic and persuasive conversation, whether you tweet it or tell it.  The definitive guide to compelling communication in the digital age is now available – with a foreword by Jeffrey Hayzlett.

Check out what others are saying about this book.

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