Monday, May 24, 2010

Elevator Speech

Do you have an elevator speech?

"Which floor?" I asked. Her chin rested on top of the books she was carrying and her eyes sparkled. We were both going down to P2. "Can I help you with those?" "Heavens no, dear," she laughed. "I'm fine." Although she was over seventy, she was managing her load easier than I could have done.

"I'm sending these off to my publisher. I write cookbooks. I wrote three and had them each printed and bound myself. Then I went to a book conference in Las Vegas. I walked up to the guy from Random House (a huge no-no!) and showed him my books and he said 'Send me everything you've got!'" The doors opened, she grinned and said, "Have a nice day." In just twenty seconds she'd captivated me. The perfect elevator speech.

What is an elevator speech? It's a 15 – 30 second blurb about who you are, what you do and why you're worth knowing. It's called an elevator speech because it is about the length of time between floors, when there's a captive audience. It's a great skill in business, on a date, at a party, in an interview, but it works in everyday life, too.

Have you ever run into an old friend and had this conversation? "What have you been up to?" "Oh, nothing much." "Keeping busy?" "Yeah. You?" "Same old, same old . . ." I have—hundreds of times. My life is fun and exciting, but I sound like a dud. Recently someone said, "So you have a blog? What do you blog about?" "Oh, well, my ideas, my life, my family." (Myself.) There must be a better way to answer these questions. I need an elevator speech.

So now it's urgent. This weekend at the Casual Blogger Conference, I'm on a panel called Faith in Blogging. It's inter-denominational, and six participants will discuss questions like "How do you talk about faith on your blog?" "Is religion too controversial?" "What kind of response do you get from spiritual posts?" There could be some hot buttons, but when I talk about it I sound duddy. My vocabulary needs to be jazzed up.

Leading up to the panel there's a speaker's dinner, a Girl's Night Out, plus two days of classes and workshops. Plenty of "Hi, what's your name . . . are you speaking? . . . what do you blog about?" Ideal times for an elevator speech.

Do you want to write me one? Where's my skill when I need it? I'm a wordsmith, but words are failing me. How can I introduce myself, my blog, and my topic in 30 seconds without sounding stodgy? I need a tag-line, something catchy to punch it up. You know, something like "I'm Old Faithful" or "Hey! Keep the Faith" or "Faithfully yours, TravelinOma" but light and fun-sounding. (And I also need a two-sentence introduction/bio that is concise and captivating.)

If you know a speech writer, have him meet me in the elevator.


kenju said...

You're not fooling me - words NEVER fail you!

Have fun at the conference.

Raejean said...

I like the tag line of your blog, maybe you could incorporate the two: finding beauty through faith.

Soul-Fusion said...

funny timing. I just attended a women's conference for a work a couple of weeks ago and a big theme in the conference was perfecting your elevator speech and previously I had never heard the term. Whatever you decide, I think you need to incorporate how much you teach others through your blog - that's what keeps me reading!

marta said...

you're too clever! i'd say, you've got quite the hot topic. i'm sure you'll know exactly the 'write' words as you always do. tell them you're a writing, travelin', teachin' grandma. your blog is full of hiSTORIES of life lessons, motherhood moments and grandmothering joys. you write the truth and love finding the perfect word! tell them you write about writing and all that goes along with that. give them your business card and say "you've really got to check it out." can hardly wait to rub elbows with you!

Kay Dennison said...

I usually just make jokes.

Tiffany said...

You are the perfect choice to speak at the conference! And I agree with Soul-Fusion, you are a teacher, and an inspirer (same thing?).

Wish I could be there to hear you!

Susan Adcox said...

I can't top Marta's spiel. If I were you, I'd use at least part of it!

I refer to myself (and my online friends) as granny bloggers. I also like the term faith blogger.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i am in gab's shoes... counting down days til a move on my fingers, finishing up a school year, and feeling slightly overwhelmed. on any other day i would LOVE to tackle this little challenge. today, i got nothin.

good luck.

Alisha Stamper | Photographer said...

WOW! i love the idea of this and am off to start writing and memorizing one of my own (that's the only way I think i'd have to confidence to do it!).

i really love your blog and the things you write about. i swear, you have more starred items in my google reader than ANYONE else.