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“As a member of So Percussion, I am well aware of the struggles of the student musician leaving the “nest” of the university educational system. Most of what I learned on how to develop a career in the music field came from trial and error and first-hand experience. After speaking as a guest in Astrid’s class at Yale University, it became apparent to me that she was filling a void that needed filled desperately. Finally, someone was saying out loud what needed to be said to university students: “Your career depends on much more than just practicing and talent.” I wish her class existed when I was in school. Students taking her class are emerging from Yale armed for the real world ahead of them. Aside from her practical and hands-on approach to building a brand, she explodes with energy at every turn, inspiring you to sit up and take notice of every word she says. I have to say, I work with passionate people in the arts on a daily basis, and I have never come across anyone so genuinely excited to help people seek their highest potential. Yes, my experience with Astrid has been tied to the music business side of the world, but her energy, skills, and practices can and should be applied to anyone seeking to be employed doing the thing they love to do. If you have a job in mind that you couldn’t believe someone would pay you to do, Astrid can help you get there.”
— Josh Quillen, So Percussion; Bard College; New York University
You did an outstanding job with the [Opera America] Leadership Intensive. The sessions you led were truly a transformational experience for all of the participants.
— Kevin Smith, Opera America Field Consultant and Former CEO, Minnesota Opera
"Just at the moment I discovered that the field of life coaching existed a friend of mine referred me to Astrid and I was very happy to be among her first clients. Similarly the coaching sessions themselves have opened me to lot of synchronicity in my life. So often I have entered sessions with Astrid feeling overwhelmed and conflicted, and so often I come out of a session feeling aligned and empowered. It's wonderful how she can slice through so much of my confusion and assist in creating a sense of clarity. Astrid has boundless positive energy and at the same time is an acute listener. Though I feel I have a ways to go, I am quite aware that since I have been coaching with Astrid, I have maintained more consistent focus and spent more time doing the things I love than before. I have recommended her to friends and will continue to do so."
— KG, 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.