Killer Elevator Pitches Are Out to Get Us

In this post, I continue my interview with Pat Weber* Business Coach for Introverts and Shy who discusses her ideas about what makes for good and bad elevator pitches.  For my take on elevator speeches follow this link to where Pat interviewed me. To learn more about how Pat and I began our collaboration on LinkedIn, tune in to our discussion on Free Webinar Wednesdays: “Success Stories From the Trenches.”

Why do people often sound, and actually say, they are unprepared with their introduction?

"Patricia Weber"

Patricia Weber

[tweetmeme]Even when someone says, just take 30 or 60 seconds to tell us about you, most people are unfocused and tend to ramble. About 75 to 100 words gives a person that 30 seconds. Double it for 60 seconds. People don’t even seem to have one variation let alone 6 or 7 focused variations roll off their tongue.  What’s so difficult about preparing? It’s professional, respectful and much more magnetizing.

And that elevator pitch that has no end to it’s up, or down? We’ve all either done this at one time, before we learned better, or we’ve all heard it!  It’s the person who even after that friendly buzzer or Feng Shui type of chime, keeps droning on to fit in that one more thing about them, their company, their service, something special. Push the STOP button, please.

Why DO people admit they are unprepared?

Worst offenders for me are people who are attending a networking meeting and likely know they will need to introduce themselves and say something like, “I’m not fully prepared with my introduction but I’ll start with…” Do us all a favor and just sit down. Say, “pass.” This is one of the lamest excuses and totally shows either disrespect, lack of preparation and – there goes that first impression.

I notice few people look at me when giving their pitch. Is eye contact passé?

This irritates me to no end. People either look down at – nothing! Or they look all around the room never landing their eyes on anyone. I think it comes from not understanding effective public speaking. I encourage people to do what I learned starting as a sales manager speaking to my team: give your audience the attention they deserve by looking at each person, in the eyes, about 10 seconds at a time before you move to the next person. Those 10 seconds is usually a phrase or thought – you DON’T need a timer!

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*Leading and inspiring introverts in business with coaching, training and eBooks, to live genuinely for the most success and fun. Business Coach for Introverts and Shy, Patricia Weber.

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  1. When people actually ride in an elevator they will do anything to avoid making eye contact with the strangers surrounding them. Studies have shown they look down or watch the buttons. It’s funny that they don’t make eye contact when giving their elevator speeches either.