Learn how to effectively express your message to the world
Have you ever attended a conference, networking event, mixer, or meetup, and you’ve been stuck with what to say or how to say it with impact? You see others who deliver a very professional and polished elevator speech.
Would you like to have a way of expressing yourself with clarity, so that you’re not only memorable and impactful, but customers are lining up to connect with you further? You need a 30 second Inspired Introduction.
Keep reading, and I’m going to help you create an inspired intro (elevator pitch or speech) that you can use for online and offline networking.
What is an Inspired Introduction?
Some people call it an elevator pitch or speech, but here we call it an Inspired Intro!
Say that you meet someone in the hallway at a business conference and they ask you what you do. What will you say? They don’t want to hear a 15 minute speech on your business. They don’t even want to hear a couple minutes about YOU. They want to know how you can help THEM.
Everyone needs to have a short, impactful speech prepared that explains exactly what their business is all about and why people should even listen to them. This is commonly referred to as an “elevator speech” or “elevator pitch” since you should be able to say it in the space of a short elevator ride. Here, in our group, we call it the Inspired Intro. Have a compelling Inspired Intro will lead you to new opportunities and deeper discussion about what you do and what you have to offer.
Make a better impression with a well crafted 20 – 30 second speech, explaining who you are, what’s your passion, what you do, how you can help them, and the results you provide.
Why 20 or 30 seconds?
The reason networking groups ask you to deliver your introduction in such a short amount of time is so that there’s more time for relationship building and networking. Our group is very community oriented with a focus on making meaningful connections and collaborations. We provide an opportunity to introduce yourself to the whole group, but ultimately, we want everyone to connect with one another. If everyone takes 5 minutes each, then it wouldn’t work. There wouldn’t be enough time to connect and build relationships.
Why do we do an Inspired Intro?
To cause your audience to ask: “Tell me more!”
So your job is NOT to tell EVERYTHING about your business. Far from it. It’s to give a compelling reason to get people to talk with you further. Not by saying, “so if you want more information, come and see me.” That’s over-done. Come up with a creative reason for people to want to talk with you further. Create a captivating offer, free gift, download, discovery call, sample, or whatever is applicable to your business, and that will attract your ideal audience.
This old adage describes how many people tend to deliver their Inspired Intros:
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like nails”
We need to be more creative than that to draw attention to our company or our cause. It’s time to learn how to express yourself in a way that is meaningful to your ideal audience.
What the Inspired Intro is not:
Again, it’s not the time to tell everything about your business, or about all the different things you do – there are other opportunities for that – it’s a time to say a compelling introduction to entice people to talk with you further.
Why do people put time and effort into crafting a professional and authentic Inspired Intro?
As business owners, we are responsible for various ways of communicating our message, and this is just one type of message. We have a whole course on how to craft your Inspired Intro, where we offer examples of opening questions and other formats to explore. But, overall, it’s about helping you find clarity, no matter what format you use. When you’re clear, concise and memorable, you will generate interest.
If you have a different format you want to follow, that’s fine, but keep it under 30 seconds. No matter which format you use, the 30 second introduction has proven to be very effective for many of our members over the years to create opportunities for further discussion, and it’s based on best marketing practices.
It’s always a work in progress. This is a safe place to try new things, see what works, and gauge the response within your 30 seconds.
It must be related to your primary business only
NOT a secondary business, or a friend’s business, or a non-profit (non-profits can contact us directly for JV arrangements). Call our Founder directly if you have any questions about this, or if you’re interested in further training: Jennifer Henczel 778-823-2421
Tips for Crafting Your Inspired Intro
Be Clear & Concise
Clarity is the key. The process of making your message concise will help you to gain clarity. I’ve seen some people deliver more compelling information in 30 seconds, than others who go on and on for 3 minutes, and monopolize everyone’s time. We’ve all seen that one. So, save yourself time, attract more people to your business, and get more results with a well-crafted intro. You’ll actually get more results saying less and being precise. Less is more.
Stick to one thing in your presentation; do not mention two businesses or your message won’t stand out and your delivery will not be memorable. It’s not about telling everything about your business, it’s about compelling people to connect with you further and developing long-term business relationships. Deliver one distinctive and unique thing, with power and confidence. It’s the only way to differentiate yourself.
Gathering the needed info
Below are some exercises to help you to gather your thoughts and info, and ultimately, clarify your message and ideas. Then, we also provide a structure and template that you can use to create your inspired intro to use at networking or whenever the opportunity arises. We want to help you express yourself in the most effective and compelling way possible.
Call to action
Tell people what to do next with a strong call to action. For example, how to contact you, where to connect with you online, when to meet for a follow-up coffee, or how to download a complimentary copy of your book. Be creative. Put up a landing page just for this purpose. Survey your audience to see what they need, what’s their pain, and what kind of gift they may want from you to make their life and business better.
Outline your USP
Let’s start by diving into the core of what your business is all about. What are the key points of your unique selling proposition? What’s different about you compared to your competitors? Write these down in a simple bullet point format. Then cut out irrelevant words and explanations. Pare your USP down to the bare minimum, the most basic essence of what you are offering people.
Write your problem/solution statement
Now put your USP description into one sentence. It helps to put it in terms of a solution to a problem, since this is the most important part of anything you are selling. It’s why people buy. For example,” I provide ready-made solutions for people that don’t have time to write or just hate it”. This doesn’t tell someone exactly what you do, but it intrigues them to want to learn more.
Write your features/benefits statement
Now write another sentence that explains the key points of how you deliver that solution. Your statement should be a very brief summary of the key features and benefits of what you are selling. For example, “By writing the articles for them, I free up their time to focus on other parts of their business”. This isn’t a sales pitch, which would just turn off someone that you met in an elevator. It’s a summary of why your solution actually works. It shouldn’t give a person all the details of your business. Instead, it should create an opening for more questions from the other person. In other words, it’s a way to get a discussion going.
Writing prompts: Questions to ask YOURSELF when composing your Inspired Intro or elevator pitch.
The When? What? Who? Where? and Why?
- What is your company? (Be clear and start simple)
- What does your company do? (What do you provide, solve, offer…?)
- Whom does your company do it for? (Who is your audience – be specific!)
- Why do they care? Or, What’s in it for them? (How do you solve their problem or enable them to solve their problem?)
- Why is your company different? (Why are you better, faster, stronger…?)
- What single thing does your company do better than anyone else? (For example, begin your answer with “My company is recognized as the leading provider of…”)
Questions to ask OTHERS in your Inspired Intro (elevator speech) and when networking
“Asking Questions the right way is as important as asking the right questions.”
Asking Questions during your Inspired Intro and while networking can help you attract your target clients. This is important because there needs to be a good fit for business to work. Quality collaborations is the key to successful business relationships today. Remember, the memorable, one-two punch comes in when you offer solutions after asking questions.
Both closed ended questions and open ended questions have value in an Inspired Intro.
- Closed ended questions are good for qualifying people to make sure you are talking with the your target audience.
- Open ended questions are good for asking your ideal prospects, to ensure that you can help them and how you can help them.
Examples of questions to ask at networking or in your intro:
- Tell me about your business?
- Who are your customers? Tell me about your audience?
- How are you currently staying in touch with your customers/members/donors?
- What’s the first step your customers take to connect with you?
- How to you convert potential customers to paying clients?
- What actions are you looking for your customers to take?
- Do you have a specific time frame you need to get this out by?
- What other marketing do you do?
If you come up with an open ended question for your Inspired Intro, then mention, “Come and chat with me if you would like to tell me your answer to that question…” that’s more creative than just saying come and see me if you want more information. When you ask a question, people are answering it in their mind, and they would probably love to say it to you directly.
Sometimes you need to dig deeper. Adjust some of these sample probing questions so that they work for you when networking or delivering your Inspired Intro:
- How has ________ been working for you?
- Tell me more about ________.
- How do you measure the success ________?
- Can you describe ________ to me in a little more detail?
- How much does ________ cost you?
- How much time do you spend on ________?
- What is the most difficult part of ________?
- What part of ________ do you struggle with the most?
Power of Stories
Incorporate a mini-story into your intro. Think about your best customer. The one who came to you for the right reasons and is delighted with your solutions.
Writing Prompts to help you gather information for creating your mini story:
1 How did this customer find you?
2 Why were they looking for you?
3 What business are they in?
4 What was their major challenge?
5 How did you help them?
6 What benefits do they see?
A [EXAMPLE OF YOUR IDEAL CLIENT] business approached me through [WHERE DID YOU MEET THEM] because they were [LOOKING FOR, STRUGGLING WITH, OR WHATEVER APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS]. We rolled out our [PROGRAM, SERVICES, ETC] which addressed their [PROBLEM] and gives them [SOLUTION], resulting in [THE BENEFITS OF HAVING THE SOLUTION]. If you want to avoid the [7 biggest mistakes, FOR EXAMPLE] we see when companies [DON’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM] just hand me your business card and I’ll send you our [white paper or other gift] about this.
That’s just an example to get you thinking. But you can see, it is possible to compose a 1 to 3 sentence story that you can quickly incorporate into your introduction to have more impact. Your unique story will make you memorable.
Putting it all together
Now it’s time to create your Inspired Into!
Now that you’ve written the basics of your Inspired Intro, it’s time to put it all together. Practice saying it out loud and add other details to make your speech sound natural. Try it out on someone else and get their feedback and reaction. Make sure to time yourself to make sure your little speech doesn’t take more than about a minute. Finally, take the time revise and revisit your elevator speech frequently, especially as your business changes.
Creating your own individual Inspired Intro is far more important than most people realize. You never know when you will meet someone that can be a help in your business, or who is a potential customer. This is the one liner you can use with friends who have no idea what you do or with business colleagues you meet at a conference “in the elevator”. It is your ticket to opening the door to a potential relationship.
Inspired Intro Template
The Structure of Inspired Intro (Elevator Speech)
Remember, it’s not about telling everything about you and your business, it’s about compelling people to connect with you further. I should be about THEM and solving their problem, not all about you.
Multiple versions for different audiences
Some networking groups offer you extra time to speak if you have a draw prize. Be sure to use this time wisely to provide more compelling reasons to attract people to your offering. If you have already said your introductory elevator speech, then say different things. Focus on the prize you are giving away, if it is a product from your business, or use this opportunity to tell people more about their company, services, or products. Do not repeat your basic elevator speech if you already said it before.
Finally, be sure to mix it up a bit. Have a few versions of your elevator pitch so that you sound a bit different every now and then, and spark new interest in those who have heard you before.
Want more Impact?
I also have a 2 hour program called “Power Networking: Creating Your Compelling Inspired Intro” or “Expressing Your Message to the World” where I can work with you and your group to further refine your presentation for better impact. CONTACT ME today to invite me to speak to your group.