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There seem to be an infinite number of resources available to people looking to make career changes these days, and I think I looked into most of them before I met Astrid. Numerous books advised me to do what I loved. That sounded good, except that I didn’t know what I loved. A career test provided some insight and long lists of possibly compatible jobs, but ultimately directed me to do what I loved - back to square one. Another career coach, dispensing with frivolities like love, laid out a practical approach to a career path that objectively made some sense, but I knew in my heart that I would hate it. I felt deficient for not knowing what I loved, unreasonable for rejecting a sensible path that didn’t appeal, and in general, completely hopeless about my situation.
Astrid has a great gift of seeing the beauty in each person and allowing their strengths to come through.
— JC, New York, NY
As a former student and now as an administrator of the Pace University Encore Transitions Program, I saw...how Astrid's questions and the sharing of her life experiences resonated with the students, how much joy they got out of watching her build stories for the students out of their answers to her questions and their listing of their life experiences -- stories they could use for their next acts. I saw them come alive, cast off their fears of transition and become genuinely excited and optimistic about the prospects for their second acts for the greater good. I look forward to one day soon working again with Astrid, this time on a one-to-one basis, as my own transition continues to evolve.
—Constance Harris, Assistant Director, Pace University Encore Transitions Program
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.