Honing ‘elevator speech’ topic of luncheon

Next networking event Sept. 12 at DreamMaker 

by BETH ALTENA

VOTED BEST—The person with the best elevator speech at each table is invited to share it with the whole group.

In its 50th year, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce continues to adapt to meet the needs of its membership. As a result, a recent Chamber luncheon was a networking and work session on “Creating Your Elevator Speech.”

Board member Mike McGovern introduced the topic and noted that each table at the luncheon held at the Rockford American Legion Post had a moderator to help the process flow smoothly. At the end, one attendee from each table was invited to present their “elevator speech” to the entire group.

An elevator speech is the short introduction designed to make the most of a short time with a person you wish to tell about yourself—such as the brief time on an elevator. Four considerations should be covered. First, start with a “hook” that will grab the attention of the listener. Second, give your pitch, no longer than 30 seconds. It can be what you do, why you do it, how it could benefit your listener, why your offer is different and who your company is. Third, present the personal and passionate nature of your work. People want to see that you are excited about what you do. Finally, your elevator speech would be incomplete without the next step: ask for something. Can you get them to meet with you? Get a business card.

Attendees at the luncheon were each provided with a worksheet to help identify key elements of their professional work. Three answers were required for each of the following questions. What are the three primary concerns your customers face? What are the three things you do to address these primary concerns?

In addition, the following questions were posed on the worksheet. What does your company do? What do you do? Who do you work with and for? Why would someone care what you do and what’s in it for them? Why are you different from the competition? What one thing do you do better than anyone else?

The Chamber provides a variety of opportunities for networking as well as sponsors annual events. The next chance to attend a chamber event is Monday, Sept. 12, when an informal After Hours event will be held at DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, 4658 West River Drive in Comstock Park. Chamber members and future members are invited to attend. The event will be a miniature Taste of Rockford and will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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