Your 60-Second Presentation

Many of you may have heard about “Elevator Speeches”. An elevator speech relates to the concept of being in an elevator and being asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” The concept is you have about 30 seconds to sell yourself.

Here’s a not so effective example:

Person: What do you do for a living?
Me: I’m a photographer.

BUZZ! Wrong response. It doesn’t engage the person asking.

Here’s a better example:

Person: What do you do for a living?
Me: You know those photography studios that send you a coupon for a so-called free 8×10?
Note, I’ve already engaged the person!
Person: Yeah, I get those in the mail all the time.
Me: Well, I have a photography studio and we are not one of those types of studios who bait-n-switch.
Note, I’ve already established the type of business I run.

At this point, the elevator is getting close to its destination, and I’ve peeked their curiosity, so I slip them my card and say, “Our motto is that we capture the beauty in everyone. Give us a call if you’d like a good studio experience.”

Likewise, your 60-seconds should be engaging, to the point, and less than 60-seconds.

Here are examples of how we can learn from the pros in TV advertising. Complete the blank….

15 minutes can save you ____________ on your car insurance. (GEICO)
It’s not ___________________. Better is better. (AT&T)
People hang on his every word, even the prepositions…. He is the most _______________ man in the world. (Dos Equis)

Please don’t ramble during your presentation. If you find yourself stuck, just skip to your closing statement or tag-line and end it. Never say, “I’m not sure what to say”, or “I’m not prepared today.” (If you’re not prepared, it will show.) Please don’t use your 60-seconds to editorialize. This is your chance to win some business. Use it wisely.

Also, don’t use your 60-seconds to give testimonials for other businesses. When appropriate, you can do that when sharing referrals. And, they are most effective when a testimonial is given in conjunction with a referral. Example: I want every one to know I had a great experience at Bob’s dealership, and so I’m referring my brother-in-law who is looking for a new car. The two together adds emphasis to your relationship with Bob’s business.

Suggestions for making your 60-seconds work for you.

  1. Prepare. Prepare the night before the meeting.
  2. Practice. Practice saying it and timing it. If you have a hard time with words, write it down, memorize it, but don’t read it. Set up a video camera and stand in front of it and give your 60-seconds, and then watch it. Do this until you like what YOU see. You are your own worst critique, so if you get to where you like it, others will like it too.
  3. Ask. Ask and ye shall receive. Always ASK for what you want. Examples: I want referrals for people who have just moved to a new home? Or, this week, I need people who just had a try limb break. Etc.
  4. Tell. Tell us why we should refer you.
  5. Give. Give them something they will want to share with their friends. (Discounts, coupons, gifts, etc.)
  6. Be positive. Be positive and confident that your peers want to give you a referral.
  7. Be creative. This is hard for most, but come up with a gimmick if you can. Watch some TV commercials and see how they use gimmicks to help you remember them. Wear a silly hat, or a costume, or bring a funny prop that will help others remember you.

Your 60-seconds is yours. Sell yourself.

written by D. Brent Walton, author of 25 Things Business Owners do to Undermine Their Businesses and How to Avoid and Correct Them.


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