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"Astrid has turned around the way I look at my career in the most extraordinary way. I used to think that the professional part of what I do was very separate from the creative and deeply personal aspects of being a composer. Going after professional opportunities to get my music out there felt to me like a very daunting task--one that I found a little distasteful because it felt like "selling myself." Astrid really helped me realize that building a career has to come from the most genuine part of myself--in the same way as building a piece. With this understanding, the professional world looks much less scary to me now, and I'm able to reach out to my professional network with the courage of my conviction, and with the kind of personal investment and care that makes professional experiences deeply meaningful. Career building is about believing in what you do, and its validity; it is about communication and courage. It only works if it feels true to who you are.
With her supportive and positive attitude combined with her incredible sensitivity and intelligence, Astrid has created for me a wonderful safe space to discover how I want to develop my goals from the inside out. I have found in her a true kindred spirit as well as a powerful ally and coach."
— Hannah L., New York, NY
Astrid's Designing Your Encore Life workshop at Pace University gave me both practical and psychological insights and helped me manage my transition in ways that were unexpected and highly positive. The possibilities of an Encore life were overwhelming to me and, despite my years of corporate employment law, I was now unfocused. Who was I? What had I done that was transferable? What was it I wanted to transfer? What did I really want or think I wanted?
Astrid's workshop required me to answer those questions and more. She asked about core values, interests, tolerances, passions, work and life experience. She listened carefully to the answers many of the students volunteered, and gave concrete suggestions as to how to develop a plan to move forward in a meaningful way. She did not offer one solution to fit all but, rather, paid careful attention to the needs and desires of each student who chose to share. The experience was empowering.
—Constance Harris, Assistant Director, Pace University Encore Transitions Program
Astrid has a great gift of seeing the beauty in each person and allowing their strengths to come through.
— JC, New York, NY
Networking is one of the key tools that can make the difference between a good career and a great career. Many people shy away from networking or fumble around when meeting new people because they do not know what to say about themselves. They are missing an opportunity to connect with the very people whom need them! The secret is in crafting a short and powerful “elevator speech”.
The most effective elevator speeches are succinct, carefully-crafted messages that immediately tell someone why he or she would be interested in connecting with you. An elevator speech should tell the listener:
1. what you do;
2. who your target audience is;
3. what need you fill for them; and
4. what result you would like from this encounter.
This type of elevator speech focuses on your target audience: what they lack, what they need and why you are the best person to solve their problems or fill that important need. This type of message is more likely to encourage your listener to talk to you, find out more about what you do, have another meeting and eventually hire you or refer you to someone who will hire you.
Here is my Elevator Speech:
“As a professional life and career coach and lawyer. I help professional musicians and artists to achieve the career success, financial security and life balance that they long to have.”
Depending on whom I am meeting or where I am, I will then add: How would you like to find out more about coaching? or
Let’s set up a meeting so that we can see how coaching might help you.
To create your Elevator Speech, answer the following questions:
1. What do I do?
Consider what you do. Then think about how you distinguish yourself from the other people in your niche and what makes you unique and memorable.
2. Who is my target audience and what do they lack?
Visualize your ideal audience member. What is that person’s occupation? What demographic does that person fall into? What does that person love to do? What is missing from that person’s life? What challenges does he or she encounter? What would make that person’s life better?
3. What need do I fill for my target audience?
Now that you have some better insights into your target audience what they are lacking, think about how you fill the need of that audience and what skills or talents you have that they need.
4. What would I like from this encounter?
The last part of the elevator speech helps you to take this contact to the next level. What are you looking for? A meeting? A name of someone who can help you? A resource? ASK!
Put these elements together using the following template:
(your target audience)
(describe the need that you fill for your target audience)
so that they ________________________________________________.
(the benefits that they derive)
Here’s what I would love for us to do:______________________________.
(your goal from this encounter)
You can refine your Elevator Speech in a few ways:
Practice your speech in front of a mirror so that you are comfortable with the message and you feel authentic when saying it.
Now you are ready to connect with the people who need you most!
I would be delighted if you should wish to reprint this article (for free) in your newsletters, blogs, websites, and message boards. Please include the following attribution:
Astrid Baumgardner, JD, PCC is a professional life coach and lawyer, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer at the Yale School of Music and the founder and President of Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training, which is dedicated to helping musicians, lawyers and creative professionals take charge of their lives and experience authentic success. In addition to her work at YSM and her individual coaching practice, Astrid presents workshops at leading conservatories and law firms on topics including Career Planning, Goal-Setting, Time Management, Dynamic Communication, Conflict Management and Personal Branding and Networking. She is the author of numerous articles on the various aspects of how to achieve and live authentic success.