30-Second Elevator Speech (required oral presentation)

SCENARIO: You have an opportunity within your own organization to briefly talk one-on-one with an Executive Director, Senior Vice President, CFO or CEO of a company/organization that you are interested in working for upon graduation. You will prepare a 30-second ?personal infomercial? associated with a job search in your degree field for an entry-level job upon graduation. You may use the same position searched for as part of the resume and application letter writing assignments. Your goal is to communicate: a) the knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that you bring to meet the employer?s needs, and b) why you are the best candidate for the position.
First, read the document on the D2L Content breadcrumb: ?Elevating Your Business with your Elevator Speech?.
You might also want to view the following articles about elevator speeches:
Fantastic Formulas for Composing Elevator Speeches — http://www.quintcareers.com/writing_elevator_speeches.html and
The Elevator Speech is the Swiss Army Knife of Job-Search Tools — http://www.quintcareers.com/job-search_elevator_speech.html
The Thirty-Second Elevator Pitch Technique — http://www.collegegrad.com/jobsearch/Network-Intelligence-Gathering/The-Thirty-Second-Elevator-Pitch-Technique/
Your speech should be 30 seconds in duration (no more, no less) and should include a one-slide PowerPoint to accompany your presentation. The one-slide PowerPoint slide should consist of all pictures except for your full name at the top in the title area of the slide and the text of your speech should be typed in the Notes pane. Images should enhance your image/credibility with the audience, not detract from it — No inappropriate content will be accepted.
Suggestions for crafting the speech:
? Create an opening sentence that will grab the listener?s attention. The best openers leave the listener wanting more information. You do not have to include a current job title and you do not have to include your complete employment history. Refer to the textbook and lecture notes for attention-getting techniques (refer to Chapter 14).

? End on a strong note. Refer to Chapter 14 and lecture notes for techniques.

? Practice your speech in front of the mirror and with friends. Record it and listen to it. Do you sound confident? Sincere? Is it engaging? Is it persuasive? If not, change it, re-work it.

Mistakes that people make include:

1. Not expressing your value to the company/organization. If you mention process rather than results, or droll on about history rather than the return on investment (what you bring to the table), you have lost whatever significance you were trying to create. Remember, the speech is all about the benefits to the company/organization (i.e., what the prospective employer gets by hiring you instead of your competition), not an entire history lesson.

2. Using jargon. Saying ?I provide robust multi-use business enhancement options? is presenting nothing of value to anyone (even if there is a good product or service behind that babble-phrase).

3. Using the wrong intonation. If you sound tentative, unsure of your own value, or uncomfortable, it will ruin your chances of moving forward. Practice your speech with a trusted friend, etc. until you can say it as if you mean it, and like you believe it. Even the right words delivered the wrong way will call your credibility into question. Eliminate fillers: http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/speakforsuccesscourse/a/speechlesson2.htm and http://ezinearticles.com/?Cut-Out-Your-Filler-Words&id=1176265.

4. Improvising. Memorize your speech. Most people talk too much or lose their train of thought. Very unprofessional.

Incorporate the following tips on effective presentation delivery when you record your speech:
? Know the Material
? Practice Your Delivery (conversational tone, transitions) ? memorize your speech
? Know the Location (environment in which you will speak)
? Adapt the Content (cultural differences in appearance, mannerisms, and other speaking customs) for the audience
? Maintain eye contact, watch gestures, control the tone of your voice
? Avoid nervous habits (fidgeting, hands to face, etc.) and speech fillers (uh, um, etc.)
? Avoid flashy or distracting attire and jewelry. ATTIRE SHOULD BE BUSINESS CASUAL.

IMPORTANT: The PowerPoint slide with accompanying speech script (notes pane) should be uploaded to the D2L Dropbox BEFORE CLASS on the day of your presentation.
You will be provided a 3-minute maximum time limit to open the PowerPoint slide from the D2L dropbox and to deliver the presentation.
If your presentation goes over the 3-minute total time limit, Dr. Wilkie will stop your presentation at the 3-minute mark.

Presentation checklist

? Introduction
? Gained attention using one of the following techniques:
? Unite the audience around a common goal
? Tell a compelling story illustrating a relevant point in your presentation (make the story about their goals, aspirations, anxieties)
? Ask a question (relevant to the topic) to get the audience thinking about your message
? Share an intriguing, unexpected or shocking detail
? Open with an amusing (but appropriate) observation about yourself or the subject matter
? Established rapport
? Appeared poised and confident
? Vocal qualities:
? Clear strong voice (level 8) with vocal variation to demonstrate interest in the subject.
? Precise pronunciation of terms.
? No fillers (uh?s, um?s, etc.)
? Eye Contact
? Maintains eye contact
? Presentation is like a planned conversation
? Speaker obviously prepared and has a solid grasp of the content
? Gestures/ Posture
? Confident demeanor, gestures add to style, and hands are used to describe or emphasize.
? No distracting non-verbal habits.
? Time
? Rehearsed to fit within 30-second time requirement
? Slides are uploaded to the D2L dropbox BEFORE CLASS
? Conclusion
? Ends with an effective conclusion tying the content back to the opening with a dynamic close.
? Attire
? Dressed in business casual attire
? Attire and accessories did not distract from the message
? Slide
? Quality images/graphics
? Images/graphics were appropriate and relevant to content presented
? Slide contains text of speech in Notes pane

Elevating Your Business with your Elevator Speech
By Craig Harrison
Ours is a world with no shortage of ways to promote our businesses, associations,
products and services. There are billboards, TV commercials, print ads, web banners,
telemarketing, broadcast FAXs, bulk e-mails and even bi-planes trailing signs. (We await
word whether banners on city landmarks should be added to this list.)
In this blitz of technologically driven marketing aren’t we forgetting something basic?
What about good ‘ol fashioned “word-of-mouth” marketing? That’s when you tell others
about your business or service, and they can in turn tell more people. It may be
considered old technology but the fact remains, it works.
Introducing…The Elevator Speech
So tell me, what’s your “elevator” speech? Do you have a sixteen second sound bite to
succinctly introduce yourself, your business, organization or affiliation to others? Does
your elevator speech showcase your uniqueness? Does it emphasize the benefits of your
deliverables, rather than its features? Is yours memorable?
In the time it takes to ride an elevator with a stranger (16-seconds) you have the
opportunity to not only make a great first impression, but to demonstrate your
professionalism, position yourself, network and begin to extend your sphere of influence.
Are you making the most of your 16 seconds of fame?
Who better than you to speak about what you do and do it with passion, precision and
persuasiveness? YOU are the expert on what you do, why you do it better than your
competitors, and how your signature style benefits your customers.
Think about all the potential customers, clients, or future members of your organization
you come in contact with each day? When you meet them and they ask you what you do,
that’s your opportunity to share your pithy sixteen second sound bite, your elevator
speech, with them.
Here’s one I use for myself:
“Hi. I market confidence! I’m a motivational speaker and trainer who helps
others aspire and achieve. Through dynamic keynotes, interactive training
and creative off-site events I help audiences communicate with clarity and
confidence. Here’s my card, let me help transform your world.”
Here’s one I developed for a meeting planner:
“They call me the Corporate Concierge I?m Sandy Simpkins of Meet Me
at the Top. I’m a Certified Meeting Professional and, like a good
Concierge, I know Who?s Who and What?s What in the Meetings
industry. I?m multilingual: I speak the language of Caterers, AV Techs
and even CEOs. I can brainstorm, strategize, negotiate and implement
every detail of your next event, so you can relax and enjoy it. Working
together you?ll be able to say Voila, it?s a success!”
Each one takes approximately 16 seconds. Each is delivered conversationally, with a
smile and sincerity. The delivery reflects the speaker’s personality.
The Anatomy of an Elevator Speech
Let’s break each down to its component parts. Both opening lines tantalized. Whether you
open with a provocative statement, a bit of mystery or something funny, the objective
is to grab a stranger’s attention. You’ve got to draw them in. Starting out by simply stating
“I’m a caterer” is great for people taking a census. I challenge you to cast your occupation
in its most ennobling light, to captivate your listener. A midwife “brings life into this
world” and a nutritionist teaches people “how to behave in front of food.” I even know an
IRS agent who simply tells people he’s a government fundraiser. What is it that you do in
your occupation which can capture a stranger’s attention? (For a useful tool on casting
your occupation in its most ennobling light go to http://www.craigspeaks.com/Recast.doc
to download a free worksheet.)
Next, some deliverables, also known as features, are mentioned. In my case I mention
what I do: keynotes, training and off-sites, to allow people to begin envisioning how my
services can be utilized. And I mention the benefits: helping others aspire and achieve,
and also helping them to communicate more effectively. That way, they don’t have to
decipher how ‘what I do’ can benefit them.
In the case of Sandy, she stresses some features (whose language she speaks) and the
benefits (how her handling of negotiations and implementation offload clients’ headaches
and free them to enjoy the event).
Many elevator speeches end with a question to both involve the listener and glean new
information which helps qualify them in the speaker’s eyes. A caterer might ask questions
about the nature and frequency of special events requiring catering services, or who the
company contact is for such services. Questions that can’t be answered with just a “yes”
or “no” will engender meaningful information to determine whether a good fit exists.
Another tip is to include a take-away: something the stranger can keep of yours to
reinforce the new connection just made. Whether it’s a business card, a magnet, pin or
pen with contact information on it, or other curio item, it goes with them and keeps you
in their field of vision thereafter. I knew a man who was turning the world green one
garden at a time (a gardener) whose elevator speech ended when he handed out his
business card. What’s memorable about that? It was green!

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