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Nail Your “Elevator Speech”

written by Maggie Sale Ostara, PhD

Happy business colleagues communicating in elevatorEvery week I speak with practitioners and business owners about their message. Message is one the key elements of any successful business. And for those in the healing arts, coaching and transformational fields, it’s one of the must difficult to wrap their minds around.

Last week I talked about the energetic aspect of your message, and how you are attracting or repelling people around you, including your prospective clients and supporters by your internal willingness or resistance to being visible.

In the next few weeks, I want to talk about the three layers of your message, and the key components and characteristics of each. Today I’m going to address the all important, and often dreaded, “elevator” speech. This is your brief way of responding to the question: “what do you do?” It’s often one of the first impressions you make on people when you meet them. And it’s certainly how you position yourself within the world of work and business.

[Carolyn Myss says this is one of the two key questions that all of us use in an instant to situate someone archetypally (i.e. what kind of a person are you). It’s one of the ways you are immediately (and unconsciously) categorized by the people you meet – super important! Interesting, right?]

How you respond to that question is what I call your attraction or intention statement. The reason so many people stumble or freeze at this question is that they think they need to (and they want to) communicate the richness of who they are and all that they do in this statement. Please let me relieve you of this burden – that is simply not possible! You cannot capture your gifts, talents, skills and life experience (your Soul Signature) in your attraction statement. So don’t even try. Okay, breathe a sigh of relief now. . .

The biggest mistake most people make, is they talk about the modality they were trained in (or modalities more likely), and they talk about their process(es). They talk about what they DO with clients. Very often this is fueled by a desire to demonstrate their expertise. But the thing is, most people will not even understand – much less care – about what you’re talking about if you do that.

Far more effective is when your attraction statement focuses on your Tribe and what they will receive from you, instead of on you and the process you do. I know that might seem counter intuitive, but it is far more effective. People want to know who you work with (your Tribe), and the problems or issues you address, and the types of results they can expect from working with you. That way they can assess whether or not they want to work with you, or who to refer to you.

~ > And once you know how to talk about what those things are in a clear, concise and compelling manner, everything becomes much easier.

Here are several examples to illustrate what I mean:

(I) BEFORE: I am an acupuncturist and I work with hormones, digestive problems, sleep issues, chronic pain, and lack of energy. I also have energy practices that create more relaxation and well-being. [Too general and way too many issues.]

(I) AFTER: I use proven techniques to help women experience stable energy and moods throughout their cycles, become pregnant when they want to, and recover quickly after childbirth. [Specific Tribe with specific issues addressed and outcomes stated. Of course this means focusing!]

(II) BEFORE: I am a spiritual teacher and clairvoyant, and I teach meditation practices for clearing your cords, grounding yourself, and moving people out of your personal space. [Language is too specific to the modality for people to understand and know what the benefits are.]

(II) AFTER: I help sensitive and intuitive people who work with clients and who love their work, but also feel exhausted and overwhelmed by it. I give them tools and strategies that enable them to think more clearly, experience more vitality, and transition fully out of their workday with clients so that they have stronger and clearer energy for themselves. [Language focused on the issues experienced by this tribe, and benefits of doing the work.]

(III) BEFORE: I am a psychotherapist and I help individuals and couples with somatic techniques feel more at home with themselves. I help them connect with nature and feel more comfortable in their bodies. [Tribe and benefits are not clearly defined.]

(III) AFTER: I work with people who feel disconnected by living in a fast-paced, high-tech, urban environment, and who crave a deeper connection with the earth, trees, and the ocean. When they work with me, they make experiences in nature a priority, they learn to open their senses in the right environments, they become more attuned to their body wisdom, and they carry within themselves a sense of connection and peace that they can access at any time. [Tribe more focused, and benefits and outcome clearly defined.]

It’s super important that you feel comfortable responding to that often-asked question: “what do you do?” You do not want to have a canned response, and you don’t need one. What you do need, is a clear sense of who your people are, and what they get from working with you – as specifically as possible.

You want to create a “That’s me!” moment in your prospective ideal clients when they hear you say what you do. If you tend to get the equivalent of “that’s nice,” then you know that your statement is too general, unfocused or not emotional enough. No one will argue with it, but they won’t more toward it either.

Give it a try! Who are your people, what do they struggle with, and what will they experience as a result of working with you?

Maggie Sale Ostara, PhD left her prestigious job as the Director of Women’s a Gender Studies at Columbia University when she realized she’s not built to work for anyone else. Since then, Dr. Ostara has become a Certified Human Design Specialist (Level 4), a Certified Clarity Breathwork Practitioner, a highly sought after teacher-mentor, who teaches high-achieving women how to develop their personal sovereignty, to activate their super powers, and to unleash themselves from society’s prescription of success.

She’s the creator of the Soul Signature Self Awareness Project, the Wheel of Power of the Visionary Entrepreneur, and over 20 educational programs focused building soul-inspired businesses that positively impact the world and taking command of your life through personal sovereignty. She’s hosted 5 multi-speaker online conferences, and spoken on over 15 such conferences reaching audiences of over 200,000 participants.

With two decades of experience supporting 20,000+ students and hundreds of clients through her online programs and conferences, Dr. Ostara teaches how to avoid overwhelm and burnout, how to make reliable decisions, how to create a bigger impact with less effort, and how to transform inner liabilities into powerful assets and allies.