by Christine Edwards
Recently, while getting my oil changed, I picked up a magazine in the waiting room and actually found some useful information. It was a well-done article on elevator speeches from Entrepreneur Magazine. If you’re not familiar, it’s that awkward arrangement of sentences you use when someone asks “What do you do?” The article was written for startups looking to pitch their ideas, but I revised it to fit a young professional’s networking needs. So if you ever find yourself in an elevator with the CEO of your company and He or She asks “What do you do?”, here is your simple three-part formula:
First part. Ask a question beginning with the words “Do you know?” then identify the challenge or need that your job helps to address.
Second part. Describe your specific role beginning with the words “What I do” or “What we do is...”
Third part. Explain why your job is valuable by describing the benefits it delivers, beginning with the words “so that...”
So instead of saying, "I'm a financial analyst for a car company”, reply with: "Do you know how people need to obtain car loans for the lease or purchase of a new car? What I do is make the process much easier for first-time buyers to understand the financial paperwork, so that they feel their time and money is valued by our business”.
This new approach will engage people more naturally because making that personal connection from asking a question is key for communication in general. Give people a reason to remember you.
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