Speed Networking: Launch Your Elevator Pitch Rocket with Care

In speed networking, you share time with your partner, usually within a 4 to 6 minute time-frame. Respecting your time, and your new connection’s means to hold back that rocket of self-interest enthusiasm and instead to launch a rocket that is more other-focused. Here are some key points to help your elevator pitch take that possibly different course:

    1. If you are a slower speaker, there are about 175 words in a typical 60 second elevator pitch and if you hail from the north, like New York, you can squeeze in about 225.
    2. Try, just do it, and allow the other person to talk first if you tend to normally gobble the time. It’s fine to say who you are, your company name and the WHAT you solve for your perfect client. But save your full pitch until a follow-up time. Laura Sherman comments on a previous post about why this works so well.
    3. As an extrovert it’s quite likely you love going first, often to the detriment of the either shy or introvert person. Look at tip #3 again and converse in this way.
    4. As an introvert, you may be hesitant, but if you find the person you are partnered with going on and on and possibly intruding on your time, take a stance. Politely pipe up with, “Wait, I would like for you to at least know my name and who my best clients are.” You’ll have their attention.
    5. This is not the time to go into details. After hitting on the highlights about yourself, who your ideal client is, take more interest in the other person.

Being a giver when speed networking includes giving a balance of sharing the time that you talk with still asking for what you want. When you take the time to prepare you’ll find it easy to do. If you write your pitch out and read it, you most likely won’t be your natural self. But if you write out your pitch, practice it, and then just take key points written down with you, you’ll manage your time better, make your need known and manage to share the time.

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  1. jeannettepaladino

    The term “elevator pitch” gets under my skin. I know it’s how most people describe a self-introduction but I believe it trivializes something very important. Your positioning statement isn’t just a throw-away if you bump into someone on the elevator. In fact, the very term “elevator” conjures up an image of a hapless businessman who finds himself cornered by someone he’s sharing the ride with who has just 30 seconds to sell him before the doors open again and he can escape. I’m just a voice crying in the wilderness, I know, but I wish we would all begin using another term.

  2. Let’s do it Jeannette! Let’s create a new term. Where should we start the brainstorming?

    Positioning statement you said?

    What conjures that up better?

    PS – I hate the term as well.

  3. I believe being a giver is great. But what happens when two givers meet and defer to each other?


  4. Rob, one person always emerges as the leader. I’ve been networking in business for 30 years and find that the for instance you give is a rarity. I can’t say I ever remember it happening. If it did, one person will usually take the lead. If you find yourself IN such a conundrum, then now you know you can take the lead too.

  5. Jeanette
    I dont like to call it my elevator speech either. Can you imagine someone actually doing that in an elevator.

    I like to call it my purpose speech.

    I have found that most people do not know how to make a concise purpose of their business.

  6. You are so right Julia – people are unclear about their exact purpose in particular from the customers perspective.


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